Haringey Literature Live— My Journal.
A Sunday morning in September, 1942.
Mrs. Salmon had had just left, she had popped in for a cup of tea, and bought some seedy cake and a tangerine.
I can’t remember the last time I had a tangerine, they are so scarce now, mum gave me two bits and said she would save the rest for the others when they come in.
I don’t like seedy cake, but it seems to be Mrs. Salmon’s favourite, I am picking all the seeds out, but I can still taste them in the cake itself.
Mum was ironing the washing that she did yesterday, I love watching her as she picks up the iron from the gas hob, spits on it, to see if it sizzled then she holds it near her cheek to make sure it is OK.
She has two irons, a small one for shirts and such like, and a heavy one for sheets.
Ironing is just one of the jobs she does during the week, when she is working as a cleaner, she is so quick at it.
I have finished putting some white blanco on my plimsoles, It’s a bit pointless as they are completely worn out, I have no idea why I do this every Sunday, they seem out of place with rest of my clothes.
I have also dug up some potato’s, and am now shelling the peas also from our garden, Don, my brother looks after the garden and grows some gooseberry’s, they are not nice to eat raw but are nice in a pie.
Helping mum at the week-end is the only time I have her to myself, we talk about all sorts of things.
This morning was a bit different, she looked over at me and said.
“Alan, do you have a girlfriend?
“Of course, I’ve have lots of them”.
“No, I mean a special girlfriend, one that you really like”.
“Not really, I have a special boyfriend though, in fact two of them, Dave and Tony”.
There is a pause as she kept looking at me, she seemed to be worried about something that I had just said.
Then she very quietly said.
“Err, Alan, have they told you about the birds and bees at school yet”.
Oh, I thought, not all that old rubbish, Dave and I reckoned it can’t be true, you have only to look at the difference in the size of a bee compared that of a bird, even a little Wren.
“Miss Weller did start to explain it to us, but Laury Zubiana kept interrupting her and asking lots of questions, she started to cry, and Mr. Ayres had to take over the class”.
“Anyway, Don told me all about it”.
“Did he now and what did your brother tell you”.
“He said they were delivered by a stork, although I’m not too sure about it, as there are a lot of babies about, but I have never seen a single stork, ever”.
“Wait till I see him, he’s always telling you stories, babies are not delivered by a stork, Alan”.
“Put the kettle on and let’s have nice cup pf tea.
She said this, as if it was no good going on.
Now, I know I am a bit backward, I knew Don’s story about the stork was total rubbish.
The gooseberry bush, he told me about the other day, was more like the truth though.