Showing posts from June, 2008

Mum & Dad's Room

It's hard, looking at this window, to think back to the fifties, because of the much stronger recent memory of Mum's last few days, bedridden here, before her final trip to hospital. When I took the picture, Mum only had a week or two more to live. By this time, the room had become Mum's room of course, but in happier times it was always Mum & Dad's room. Except for Sundays, Dad was always first to get up in the morning. His routine was to start his (cold) bath running then go to the kitchen and prepare the coffee percolator. This was great, because he would take the old grounds through to the bathroom and chuck them into the thunderbucket, where they would stick to the white Shanks Vitreous China. If you got up at just the right time, you could make streamy pictures in the dark coffee grounds. You were doubly rewarded for this game, both by the pattern produced and by the combined smell of stale coffee and urine. Sadly, none of these artworks are preserved, since n

The Back Room

The Back Room was my first bedroom, and the bed was a cot with dark wooden safety rails and casters. Betty said, "Do you want a hurl?" I'd no idea what a hurl was and thought I was going to get something to eat, but she just pushed the cot across the floor to clean underneath it. That may or may not have been the same day I asked her if she cleaned every house in Ayr, which made her laugh. For some reason, she was less amused when I asked her if she was a servant or a slave. The back window was for 'giving Daddy a knock' when he was in the garden and tea was ready. Apart from the lawn which was made of weeds, the garden was made of sand, which was great for digging holes in. You sat in a fish box with a short plank stuck through the grip-hole and were indistinguishable from a real mechanical shovel. Things to play with in the garden included the clothes pole (for pole vaulting), cold chisels (for striking sparks on the granite wall), the sledge hammer (for weight-