Monday, 31 March 2008
08:25:50 PM (GMT)
Aye, very passable, that, very passable bit of risotto.
Nothing like a good glass of Château de Chasselas, eh, Josiah?
You're right there, Obadiah.
Who'd have thought thirty year ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Château de
In them days we was glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.
A cup o' cold tea.
Without milk or sugar.
In a cracked cup, an' all.
Oh, we never had a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.
The best we could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.
But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.
Because we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you
Aye, 'e was right.
Aye, 'e was.
I was happier then and I had nothin'. We used to live in this tiny old house with
great big holes in the roof.
House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all
twenty-six of us, no furniture, 'alf the floor was missing, and we were all 'uddled
together in one corner for fear of falling.
Eh, you were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in t' corridor!
Oh, we used to dream of livin' in a corridor! Would ha' been a palace to us. We used
to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woke up every morning by
a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House? Huh.
Well, when I say 'house' it was only a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of
tarpaulin, but it was a house to us.
We were evicted from our 'ole in the ground; we 'ad to go and live in a lake.
You were lucky to have a lake! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in t'
shoebox in t' middle o' road.
You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used
to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale
bread, go to work down t' mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence
a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi' his belt.
Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at six o'clock in the morning, clean
the lake, eat a handful of 'ot gravel, work twenty hour day at mill for tuppence a
month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were
Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to 'ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve
o'clock at night and lick road clean wit' tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel,
worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we
got home our Dad would slice us in two wit' bread knife.
Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I
went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill,
and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and
our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.
And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.