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,
|Me age 5. Already two years into my sentence.|
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!