Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Mum's The Word

32 in the shade this afternoon.  No idea what it was out of the shade - only the very insane would go there.  I managed to devise a route home with The Girls that was almost entirely in the shade - first time I've been really grateful for those hulking Commission buildings and their hulking shadows.  It took a bit longer, but avoided the Schuman Hellmouth completely, which is always a good thing.

Earlier, having a little sit in Ambiorix, contemplating my leaving in the lurch two families at the end of this week, I tried to remember what my mum did with me in the summer.  Mum worked outside the home since I was about 4, first in cleaning jobs (where she could take me, and park me in a corner and where I most certainly did not get told off for doing handstands up a flock-papered wall; spraying Pledge in my eye; or wandering off with a girl I met in the street without telling my Mum).

When I was 7 she got a job in the first of many pubs.  Memories of this period are a bit patchy, for good reason.  Things became bad at home and what I can remember feels like a bunch of random photos.  There was the distinct feeling that I was now a bit of a nuisance.  Mum took me to one pub, where I was put upstairs in the landlord's living quarters, to play with their mentally disabled 18 year old daughter, who terrified me.  This didn't seem to work out because subsequent to that I was put in what seemed to be a local foster care home, but just on a daily basis.  All I remember is being very hot, the food being very hot and not nice, and the kids being somewhat rough.

This didn't seem to work out either.  I was a bit of a delicate flower.  There is a memory of a playscheme at my school, presumably the year after.  I remember it was very hot, we were in the playground a lot, and I got my stuff nicked by Paula Tindall.  And was then threatened by her big brother.  So that didn't seem to work out.

I have a feeling that I was left with my sister a fair bit (she was pregnant) and my sister-in-law (who might also have been pregnant).  To me they seemed very grown up and always cross with me but they were, in fact, 16 and 18 respectively.

And then I can only presume I looked after myself from about age 9.   But there is no actual memory of it.

What this all shows is that my Mum was absolutely desperate to be out of the house, doing something for herself.  After five kids who could really blame her?  Also, the difficulties of childcare when there is little childcare available and no budget.

This is a photo of us all in 1962.  Before little Bro came along, obviously.



  1. Well I remember sharing a moment with you about our mums. It was very difficult to talk about it at the time because my episode was a violent episode I was sharing with you but you seemed to have gone through quite a lot yourself as a child but you do not seem to blame her(your mum), something I have to still deal with. You are the best sweetie.

  2. Kaye, sometimes I still feel very, very angry at my parents (both now dead). It just wasn't a very loving household at all. I'd go as far as to say my mum shouldn't have had children as it was she who needed looking after. She was emotionally very dependent - whether just with me or the others as well, I'm not sure.

    My dad was not loving at all and, for some years, had a pretty violent streak.

    But they were doing their best, I think. Neither of my parents had grown up in particularly loving homes themselves. We all just do our best, I think. It isn't always easy to understand why parents do the things they do, but often they are just trying to deal with the shit in their own lives.