Saturday, 11 August 2012
Monday, 6 August 2012
Friday, 22 June 2012
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
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
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Monday, 16 April 2012
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
"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
Uncle John watched her as she ate the cake
"another tea dear wash that
"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
Friday, 2 March 2012
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Friday, 17 February 2012
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
Monday, 6 February 2012
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.
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.
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
“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”.
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.