Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Oh, The Trauma, The Misery, The Pain.

There is a mouldy dump,
Down Shirley way.
Where we get bread and cheese,
Three times a day.
Eggs and bacon we don't see,
We get sawdust in our tea.
That's why we're gradually,
Fading away.

Me age 5. Already two years into my sentence.
This was a song we sang in the children's home in the 1950's. Flipping heck! That is a hell of a long time ago. Halfway through last century. I must be bloody ancient. Happily I don't feel it though. Or look it come to that. Young genes. That's what I've been blessed with. Along with a large helping of modesty.

It could be said that I was dealt a bad hand in childhood. But when I think about it, I was born just after the 2nd world war. The suffering and degradation that some kids went through in those times, doesn't bear thinking about.

No, being brought up in care, may not have been wonderful. It came with many trauma's for young minds. But at least we were safe, and sheltered. We had three meals a day, every day. Many kids in the 'real world' would have given anything for a decent meal once in a while.

When Mum would visit and take me out for the weekend, we stayed in some terrible hovels. That didn't bother me, because I would suffer any hardship just to spend time with her. But I saw the street children, with their dirty clothes, and no shoes on their feet.

Of course I was just a boy. I didn't question things then, because I didn't think along those lines. Well I mean, what child does?

Today I think about it though, and if on the odd occasion I begin to bemoan my childhood lot, I soon turn it around and count the blessings I had as a child.

In fact the words of the song are untrue. Shirley Residential Home was not a mouldy dump. We didn't get much bread and cheese, but when we did, I loved it. On rare occasions we even had egg and bacon. None of us got fat in those austere days of food rationing, but we were not fading away.

So, all things considered, my childhood may have been sad at times, but I was not left wanting. Except perhaps emotionally.

However, this does not mean that I won't still be trying to tug at your heartstrings sometimes. I think I have a few stories of childhood deprivation left to tell you.

I was brought up in a children's home. It was horrible there. Really, it was, Really, really, horrible. Sometimes we kids got beaten. I don't know how I survived. Honestly I don't! They made us have a bath. Every week! Wicked, wicked people. I don't really like to talk about it. We had to make our own beds!


  1. Most importantly life is good now! Happy blogging to you and Happy Thanks Giving to in advance

  2. It sure is good if you can also see some positives from being brought up in a home. however, there must be quite some psychological damage done from that experience. Hoping that you are able to cope with it and continue to share your interesting stories.

  3. My mum was in a children's home and the stories she tells are heartbreaking. I know that those stories are only the ones she chooses to tell me about, I know there are many more which she keeps to herself, too awful to share. Thank goodness things have changed.

  4. You haven't changed a bit. How cruel...having baths and making beds. As you said you at least had a roof over your head.

  5. You think you had it bad?! I went to an all girls grammar school!!
    Jane x

  6. Wow kinda sounds like my house with twelve people. Same hunger same beatings but I remember the best times and try to stay far away from the bad. Can't change it so move on .Right?
    I was in the 50's and 60's the wars lingering aftermath pain spread many decades even to Canada I unfortunately noticed.My Dad dragged the traumatic childhood he had with him to my childhood. Well that is life isn't it?
    Smile my dear friend you made it through and you are a better man for it with fascinating stories. :) B

  7. And the good news is... that you emerged a strong man. Despite it all I don't think you are emotional disturbed, at least you don't come across as being that way. I was a pre-war baby. I wish I could remember enough things to write about my experience in the war years.

  8. It's good to be able to find some bright spots in your past. The horrors though of being made to take baths and make your own beds. Just awful

  9. Que bona la imatge del gat miran la pintura , m'encanta !!! :)))
    Salutacions des de Catalunya.

  10. I read years ago that over 90 percent of us had rough childhoods and/or grew-up in dysfunctional families. We all need to remember the good parts. It helps to keep us sane...me thinks.

  11. I grew up with my aunt in a convent, not many good memories for me either. But I do believe we became better people from that..

  12. What a cutie you were back then. I see that your eyes have not changed. So that is where your extremely handsome son George gets his looks.