Posts Tagged ‘money’


Despite mums best efforts money became increasingly tight and we started to get behind with the bills. I think we kept on top of the rent but I know for certain that we got behind with the gas and electric because we had it cut off. Two men came round to do the job, one in an overcoat and bowler hat who looked the stereotypical enforcement officer of the time, the other stayed outside keeping watch. Everybody on the street much have known what was happening. No gas and electric meant no fire, no TV, no lights, no cooking. Everything we take for granted now and to a certain extent did then was gone in seconds and would not be restored until the arrears had been paid. We huddled round a coal fire watching it go from a blaze to a pile of smouldering embers. The TV was replaced by a battery powered portable radio. Lighting was done by paraffin lamps carefully placed around the house to ensure they could not be knocked over potentially causing a fire. My mum cooked on the coal fire pans of vegetables and potatoes and I can only assume we had some meat. I always marvelled at how my mum could prepare and cook a meal to perfection with everything coming together at once. It was even more remarkable how she did it during this period swapping pans of food on the coal fire but still making a lovely meal for us all. I can’t remember how long it was before we had the gas and electric restored but I do remember one lad from school asking if he could come to my house and me having to say no. I instinctively said no and instinctively felt shameful for saying no and for not being able to say why I said no. I don’t think I fully understood why I was saying no or why I felt ashamed at the time but I knew deep down it was the only thing to say. We kept living in the house but I can imagine that was only just. Things were so tight during those times and no one helped us.


This came from my writing workshop last night

I carry my wallet, new, still smelling of fresh leather

Inside it carries my money, crumpled and torn, pulling faces at each other

Cards, lots of cards, nearly enough for a pack

I carry coins, £1’s and 50p’s

Some are shiny and new, others dull with age

Some are heavy and strong, others strangely light and dainty…

I carry three stones, all blue speckled with gold

Two look like a mathematical triangle, ready for their angles to be calculated

The other is dull and square and sits there

Watching, listening, smelling, taking it all in…

I carry a vest on my back, unwashed for weeks

Smelling of me in various stages of life

It fits perfectly, moulded to the shape of my sweaty body

I carry images in my mind, from places I’ve been too, people I’ve seen

Ready to be recollected to test how accurate my memory is…

Smells carry up my nose and enter my mind

So that I close my eyes and imagine I’m somewhere, anywhere but here

The sound of birds vibrates in my ear

A sound I have carried from childhood and will carry till the day I die…

I kneel and touch the ground, it is cold and hard

Like someone I knew a long time ago…

But I don’t carry you anymore like I use to

A stone weight around my neck, dragging me to the floor

Nor do I carry the rain that pours from my eyes

Drowning out my memories of you…forever!

I don’t carry a penknife, my heart was hollowed out years ago…

My mind, still sharp from the memories…

I don’t carry pictures of anyone, all my pictures are stored deep in mymind

Nor do I have a map, I’ve walked these moors many times before

And they know me well now and show me the way home

I don’t carry a book with words and pictures in of places I’ll never see…

I don’t carry a watch, I watch time past by as it soars down the moors from on high

Flowing into the swiftly moving stream, getting its breath back

Before it starts again, taking me on its currents

To wherever it desires…