Saturday, 11 August 2012


D’ya like it lady?



On a Saturday afternoon the two little girls would go with their mum and dad to Walthamstow market. It was a long market full of colourful stalls and about half way down was Manzies pie shop they would have their lunch there and go round the rest of the market., on the way back to the car the little girls dad would sing and dance along the high road like max miller singing “I fell in love with Mary form the dairy” stopping at the bus stop to ask “d’ya like it lady” to all the old girls waiting for the bus.

 In the evening after tea they would drive down to Newbury Park and go to ford social club. Their dad would give a quick flash of his cleaning ticket and the man on the door would nod for us to go in. Once inside Margo would be waiting and she would give a little royal wave to indicate where we should sit, as she smiled at passers-by who were regulars at the club. “Hello precious, hello pearl” she would greet us then her face would change to disgust an she purse her lips at the family known as “pick your nose” trying to breath in as they sat at the table behind us. The band would be playing and regular couples the ladies in their ball room dresses would take to the floor for a cha cha cha or a tango. Later in the evening when they played March of the mods it was our turn to dance and when the music finished we would have a large piggy back fight, girls against boys. Margo would forget herself and shout at martin her son across the room not to touch the “pick your noses” as he made her proud in the piggy back fight.

When we left the club it was back to Margo’s for tea and sandwiches and a séance.  We would all sit around the large dining table with a home-made ouigie  board. The glass in the middle would be asked a question and it would move to the letters spelling out the answer, then someone would lift the table with their knees freighting the life out of us. All accusing each other of cheating one brother or sister wrote a question on a piece of paper on the other side of the room, the glass then started to move and spelt out queen mother. The question had been what is my mother’s name? The answer of course was Queenie. We never played again, but we still went to the Newbury park ford social club that never changed.

Monday, 6 August 2012

florence free to read on kindle, august 8th good for children/granchildren.

Friday, 22 June 2012

living with Mack and Mable


The two little girls grew up in a household with not much television

but lots of music, not very modern music but music. Their parents were
 always singing, mostly from musicals, one day they would be dean martin
and Ella Fitzgerald the next dean martin and jerry

Lewis. They knew all the songs from the musicals and was most likely to be

answered with the words from a song when asking a simple question like
what’s for tea? The answer being food glorious food which that was in fact a
 matter of opinion a singer yes a cook no. The little girls were used to all this
and having soup for breakfast was the highlight of the week. Saturday afternoons
were spent dancing around the front room to singing in the rain or the Jolson story
 and week day teatimes were spent eating beans on toast while

Mack and Mable belted out movies were movies and then went into look what
 happened to Mable all through the washing up. Finishing up with I won’t bring roses
while they sat and ate green jelly for afters. A strange family you might think but
 the little girls knew no different and found it strange when friends dads would not
 take there eyes of the telly when you entered the room, as in their house there was
always a song for the name of the person they brought in to play, such as oh Susannah, Beautiful Amy, Mary from the dairy and so on. Later in life when one of the girls was asked
 if she had heard of the film Mack and Mable she simply replied know them I live with them.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Denny Mincer's


The young man  had been working in the sweet factory for a few weeks now and had finally saved enough money to have his own suit made. He couldn’t wait, every time he went out he had his dad’s jacket his brother’s trousers and his grandad’s shirt and tie on. Although this hadn’t stopped him pulling the girls, if they had known in younger years he had to share his sister’s knicker’s it might have been a different story, his brother on the other hand was quite happy to wear his sister’s underwear. On Saturday morning he caught the bus from Stratford to the green gate

In barking road and there it was the best tailor in town Denny Mincer’s

He stepped through the door and was greeted by a small man

 “can I help you sir”

“yes I would like a suit please”

“Any particular material” asked the tailor,

The young man gazed around the shop at all the different colours. He eventually decided on a grey tonic material and was measured up for the suit  a few tucks here and there  he felt so posh.

The following week he collected his suit and had saved enough for a crisp white shirt and silk tie and handkerchief.  He thanked the man and took his new clothes home. When he got ready for his Saturday night out his mum said that he looked like a tailors dummy and when he walked into the pub on Saturday night he had all the girls after him, it was a good job he kept enough money to buy his own pants.       

Childrensshortiesblogspot.com

More stories for children on the above site

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Monday, 16 April 2012

West Ham Lane

The two little girls with their Nan walked through Stratford, past Queen Mary’s hospital and along West Ham lane, as they reached the shop doorway they could smell and feel the heat. There was sawdust on the floor, tiled walls and long benches either side of the long marble tables. Nan told us to sit down while she queued up and was served by the short dark haired woman with bright lipstick and then she placed two large plates in front of us, pie, mash and liquor, it was lovely, Nan had mash, eels and liquor, not so appetising. After the pie mash we would cross the road to go into West Ham Park for an hour on the swings, the park was always tidy with its neat flower beds and cut grass. Our poor little legs would just about last for the walk home, where we would sit in large orange armchairs with tea, and a bag of broken biscuits.


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

passage from new book Connie

Connie looked around the little room, everything was as it was when she left.
"Would you like this last piece of cake Con" asked Florie
"not for me Flo".
"oh well waste not want not" said Florie as she popped the piece of cake into
 her mouth.
Uncle John watched her as she ate the cake
"another tea dear wash that
 cake down"
"oh go on then just room for one more"
John raised his eyes to the ceiling as he passed her to make the tea.
"Well " Fred said "i've let the neighbours know that we will all be in the
 pub later to welcome
our Connie home".
  

Thursday, 15 March 2012

florence goes on sale today on amazon kindle my first childrens book to be published :))))))))



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Friday, 2 March 2012

West Ham FA Cups

In 1980 when west ham won the F A cup the streets from the Boleyn
Up to  East Ham town hall were packed with thousands of people including me and my family waiting for the coach to pass through It was an open top coach and Bobby Moore, Frank Lampard, Paul Allen and Trevor Brooking, were standing up the top holding the cup as the coach slowly drove along the barking road. With the crowd going wild and cheering as it made its way to east ham town hall were the  players would meet the mayor, his wife and grandson. The young man met all the players and was given a signed football. Many years later this young man became my husband. Five years previously my granddad had been a season ticket holder at west ham for years and when they won the cup in 1975 on that Saturday night my nan and granddad had a west ham party and everybody wore claret and blue and on the Sunday morning we all went to Upton park to see the cup come through the streets. I had also been there in 1964 in my pram done up with claret and blue  ribbons blowing bubbles.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

saturday night

This particular Saturday night, the club was quite full.
The singer was very good and a lot of ladies were up dancing.
The singer made his way through the dancers joining in as he went. He offered one lady a job as a roadie but because of the loud music she misheard the word roadie for gropey. When the music stopped some of the ladies remarked that maybe his day job was as a greengrocer because as he had pressed against them while dancing he still seemed to have a cucumber in his pocket or maybe even a marrow  still the ladies kept on dancing and smiling away they all seemed very happy with the singer.
A little woman who had been dancing came back to the table and was rummaging through the carrier bags of food that had been made for the buffet, a gentleman asked her if she was looking for her sausage plait for which she gave an unrepeatable reply, but the gentleman suggested that the singing greengrocer could be hiding it about his person. The bags were unpacked for the small buffet and as they put them on the table and started to undo the foil a woman pushed her way through the crowd like usain bolt and as the foil came off her hand was stretched across the table and into the pile of sandwiches. She obviously didn’t know what the singer had on offer, had she been up dancing she may have got some fruit and veg to go with her sandwiches.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Friday, 17 February 2012

Karaoke Crew

John had heard a rumour that someone who attended the Sunday afternoon karaoke session could do with a bit more practice. He turned up early to get a good seat, but when he arrived the club was practically empty. Gradually a crowd built up in the corner by the bar.

The DJ, a happy fellow, was set up and ready to go playing a few tunes. "Come on, who will be first?" he said over the microphone. The crowd in the corner where all enjoying themselves, when the first singer from the crowd went over to sing. Everyone clapped and cheered as he stood and sang "That's Life".

"Very good," thought John, "he doesn’t even need the words."

Next was a lady with a very distinctive voice belting out "Mustang Sally".

"Well, it certainly wasn’t these two that needed practice."

As John sat there he looked around the room, there was an older man in a beige cromby that seemed to be offering people advice on their song choices. The next man that sang "Blue Berry Hill" was what John referred to as a one trick pony. The next woman to sing had a resemblance to Tina Turner, the way she walked up to the mic but hearsay was that she had recently had surgery, as she started to sing a song John had never heard before, a small woman with highlights jumped onto the snooker table and started thrusting her body to the words of "We're Having a Gang Bang" being sung. As John looked on amazed he wasn’t sure if this was a code message for the crowd in the corner as he had already noticed a few bottoms being pinched. Next up was a middle aged man who must have left his skull cap at home as he gyrated to "The Wonder of Jews". As he sang and wiggled a woman ran from the crowd and smothered him in kisses, it was a lucky escape when the music stopped. A young girl was called over, apparently she only attended on special occasions, she had quite a pleasant voice, but John couldn’t help remembering Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques as she wobbled on her high heels across the club.

John thought he had wasted his time, he saw the man in the cromby go up and whisper to the DJ and a short blonde woman was called up and she murdered a Patsy Cline song. This was the one who needed practice, he was sure of it; he had never been so sure of anything in his life. He could offer no help. He went to the bar and ordered a large whiskey and spoke to the barmaid. He needed another large one when she told him he only had to wait four weeks until they did it all again.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sod the Snow!

After an afternoon out at the karaoke, with all of the best singers. we were nearly home, as we entered the alley, BANG! i fell straight on my back and smacked my head on the pavement. There i was, spread eagle in the alley way with my husband crouched over me sliding everywhere, trying to pick me up. Any onlookers would have wondered what we were up to. i have had a headache for three days. when my son came home crying yesterday, he had fallen backwards over a fence and landed with a concrete post between his legs. He is now laying on the setee with bruised bits. Then this morning my husband slipped outside, putting his shoulder out.  Roll on the summer!!

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Only Way is Stratford

The  war  babies  that  grew  up  having  to  wear   each  other’s   under wear ,
that had slept four in a bed with no glass in the window   were  now  the  smart set
  of  the  sixties  with  their  tailor  made  suits, crisp white shirts and  polished  shoes.  Most  people  had  a  car  that  they  looked  after  with  pride washing  and polishing  ready for  the weekend.
Our  Saturday  afternoons  were  taken  up  visiting  our  Nan  and  granddad 
 who   still  lived  in  the  east end  of  London  in  the  same  house  were  my  dad
 had  grown   up.   Every  Saturday   my sister  and  I  were  ready  to  go  with
 matching  outfits   that had  been   made  by  my  mum  shiny shoes  and  new  coats.
 After  the  short  drive  we  would  arrive  at my nan’s  parking around  the corner
  and  then  as  we  approached  her  block  of  maisonettes   we  would  have  to  hide  behind the  wall  while  my  dad  went  and  did  the  special  knock  on  the  door ,
 this  was  because  nobody  wanted  to  open  the  door  to  aunt  Mary . The  special 
 knock  was  done  the  door  would open  and  we  would  be  whistled  from  behind 
 the  wall  once inside  only  to  see  aunt  Mary already  sitting  in  the  armchair 
 smoking  two cigarettes  at  once .  She  lived  in  the  local  mental institution  and
 every  Saturday  would  climb over  the wall  jump  on  the  bus  and  arrive  at   my
 nan’s  to join  in the  fun,  her  tights  ripped  from coming  over  the  wall,  bright 
 red  lipstick  and  a woollen  dress  even  in  the  summer.  Mary  had  been  put  in 
 the  home  by  her  husband  because  of  postnatal  depression  and  just  stayed  there
  for  the   rest  of  her  life.
The  room  was  full  of  other   aunties  and  uncles  each  and  every  one  a  character,
  we  had singers   dancers  comedians  and  all  the  cousins  ready  to  join  in  the  afternoons  fun.  We  would  all  walk  along  to  the  local  club  for  a  few  hours  and  then  all  walk  back 
  again  a  few hours  later   all  singing  and  laughing , the  settee  would  be  pushed  back  to make way  for  the tap  dancers  all taking  turns to  do 
 their  best   James Cagney  or  gene Kelly  running  and  tipping the  armchair  over
  as  they  danced  of  the  other  side, then  would  come  Al  Jolson  impersonators  
 one  after  another   while  Des O’Conner  played  on  the  record  player  and  the television  would  be  on  for  the  horse  racing .  It  was  brilliant  bedlam,  ten  grandchildren squashed  on  a  three  seater    settee   watching  all  the  grown ups  enjoying  themselves    a  room full  of  stars.   we   had  Marylyn  Monroe ,Mitzi  Gaynor ,Dean  Martin  ,Adam  Faith , Dusty Springfield, Ginger  Rogers  and 
 Mr  Gable  by  early  evening  when  every one  had  had  enough my  dad  would
  take  aunt  Mary  back   but  she  would  always  go  in  through  the  front  door  
 as  she  was  also  a  star.   This  would  be  the  norm  fifty  two  weeks  a  year  and
  on Christmas  and birthday’s   we  would  really  live  it  up. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Party

“How ‘bout a party?" Mrs Sims suddenly said to her husband.
“When?” he asked.


“This weekend, plenty of time to get my hair done and push the furniture back,” before Mr Sims could answer Mrs Sims had made her mind up “that's settled then I’ll let everyone know”.
By Saturday they were ready Mrs Sims had been to the hairdresser the day before so she slept in the armchair all night to keep her set in. The furniture had been pushed back, carpet rolled up, radiogram and records ready to go. All the neighbours would bring food and drink so all Mrs Sims had to do was make a large plate of bread and dripping.
As the guests arrived they told Mrs Sims how lovely she looked she remarked that she had often been mistaken for a young ginger Rogers. When Margo and Sidney arrived with their daughter Jane they had also brought their neighbours with them.
“Hello mum this is Nisam, Myrtle and their son Joshua, we had been invited to thiers to watch their holiday cinnie film but we thought this would be more fun”. They went to their neighbours every year for a small sherry and a showing of fifty pictures of Nisam, Myrtle or Joshua standing by the same landmarks as the year before.
Jane wasn’t pleased to have Joshua there, the two lots of parents were trying to get them together but a boy in a shirt, tie and tank top worn with long shorts, socks and sandals was not her idea of manly.
More neighbours arrived with plates of sandwiches and bottles of drink, the room was filling up, Mrs Sims opened the door to Jean and Eddie's friends Freddie and Maureen.
“Come in love take your hat off “said Mrs Sims to Maureen

“This is my new lavender rinse Mrs. Sims “.
"Oh very nice “replied Mrs. Sims.
“Perhaps I should of gone to your hairdresser Mrs. Sims”.

“Oh they don’t work miracles darling" she called as she disappeared into the party.
All the family and neighbours were enjoying themselves singing and dancing while Margo stood in the corner talking to Myrtle as she told her about a patient at the hospital where she worked Margo covered Joshua’s ears and mouthed the words
“The poor woman’s had it all taken away”.
Joshua raised his eyebrows and thought what’s with all the secrecy the balifs’ were in our street all the time. Myrtle had come over bad and had to have another small sherry, one too many as she ended up face down in the trifle.

"A little too much excitement” said Nisam.
Gerald and his friend bill rushed over to help, they had met at first aid classes.
“Let us through we have medical training”
As Gerald took myrtles pulse bill bent down to help but as he did his hair piece moved forward the rest of the guest's pretended not to notice. Gerald declared myrtle drunk and as they stood up Mrs Sims said "thankyou wiggy."
Bill left the party with the Cohen’s and when the door closed every one let out the laughter they had been holding in after Mrs. Sims comment.

Friday, 13 January 2012

The Visit

Margo and Sidney sat in the cafe on the high road chatting on the warm summer’s day when the door opened and in came sister Jupp. Margo worked with her at the hospital and considered herself a good friend. Margo jumped from her chair and practically curtsied to sister Jupp. “OOH ‘ello  sister Jupp how nice to see you, this is my ‘usband Sidney “.
Sister Jupp pursed her lips and said please to meet you Sidney and as Margo turned around wearing her best smile she saw that Sidney had removed his shoe and was examining the hole in his sock, Margo’s smile turned to disgust and swiftly hit Sidney around the head with her hand bag. When they got up to leave Sidney couldn’t resist pinching sister Jupp’s bottom, he winked at the girl behind the counter and she called after them "see you again soon best entertainment I’ve had in ages". They made their way along the high road to Margo’s mum’s they had been invited to tea to meet her brother Eddie’s new girl friend.
Eddie had told his mum that jean would be visiting and to be on her best behaviour. Jean walked along checking the door numbers, right I’m here she thought I hope they like me. Jean knocked on the door , it opened but nobody seemed to be there “come in love” called a voice, Jean went in and saw Mrs. Sims in the kitchen, she was wearing an apron and her blonde hair was in rollers underneath a scarf turban, she was smoking a cigarette  whilst washing the floor dropping the ash as she went. Eddie came down the stairs “come into the lounge Jean and meet the others". Mr Sims was sitting in the armchair rolling a cigarette wearing his best vest, and Gerald a quiet boy who always had his dog with him was wearing his nurses uniform partly because he had heard so much about sister Jupp he too wanted to be a nurse but mostly because he thought Jean may need medical attention after meeting the Sims. “coffee dear “ asked Mrs. Sims , her husband looked up from rolling his cigarette and said “thought that was for special occasions” take no notice we often have coffee on Saturdays" Mrs. Sims replied looking at Jean. She returned with the coffee for Jean as she took it from her she took a sip it had a strange taste for coffee as Mrs. Sims saw Jeans face she said “oh sorry that’s an onion from last night were a bit short on saucepans ". There was a rat a tat on the door everyone looked at each other “don’t worry” said Mrs. Sims “it’s only Margo, I told her to do the special knock , we couldn’t have jean hiding behind the settee from the tally man on her first visit”. Margo and Sidney came in and Sidney relayed the story about sister Jupp in the cafe. Gerald felt forlorn he would have to think about a new career maybe a ballet dancer instead of a nurse. Gerald  danced his way into the kitchen pirouette style were his mum was washing the lettuce he pointed out to her that she had washed the floor with that water , but Mrs. Sims said it was ok as it had disinfectant in it , as her ash dropped into the water. They all sat down to a clean tasting salad Eddie sat looking at Jean wondering if he would see her again and Jean was thinking maybe she should of worn her mums fur boots with her summer dress just to fit in. Jean left that day thinking that Eddie could be the one.