I was born in 1943
in a rural backwater safe from the bombs
also a safety net still akin to the 19th century.
Neither electricity nor gas
only an old oil lamp and candles for comfort.
The luxury of the tin bath once a week
brought in from the scullery, placed in front
of the cast iron Yorkist fire range
with hob and side boiler, to source the hot water
poured into the bath at regular intervals
to help keep out the cold.
Old overcoats and hessian sacks placed across
the bottom of the doorways, to aid keeps out the icy drafts,
also aid as foot warmers once upon the beds.
A copper boiler for the weekly wash
a fire beneath to be lit, a combination of paper
sticks of kindling all pre chopped
as were the logs to maintain the heat
of the dark stained grey coloured water,
stirred by the posser, to aid mixture
of the home made soap, and the garments.
Slop bucket (The posh name for it)
to be emptied every morning,
carried down the lane to the tippler convenience
care not to spill on the seat or trouble with the neighbours.
Wet batteries for the wireless
to be carried once a week from the local store,
replacements for the empty ones
a choice of 2 stations
BBC and BBC.
Early nights, early mornings the darkness prevailing
throughout the long winter months,
only for the daylight to never end
in the month of June, impeding one’s sleep
even then we were never satisfied with our lot in life.
Only my father laying in a military hospital
a casualty of war, was missing the value of it all
after all he was fighting for it
his life style, his freedom our freedom
to enable me to write this, ever so simple story!
© Harry J Horsman 2013