Writing – 9 January 2019 – Life Seventy-Five Years Ago
Today I’m writing about my life seventy-five years ago, I’m still struggling to come up with something interesting for my readers, may need to go back to writing poetry, as my followers have drifted away now I have change my ideas because of the new editor. So here it goes, my memories as a child living in a tin shack under the mountain in Taranaki New Zealand.
The winter months were the hardest living right under Mount Egmont/Taranaki reserve, snow would fall for days sometimes, everything would be covered with snow, water pipelines no longer worked as they were frozen up, they would be frozen for days.
No washing was done in the concrete copper boiler, as we couldn’t get any water into the bowl with frozen pipes. So washing was done by hand by melting ice in a pot, on the coal range, which was kept going by the dry wood in the shed which had been saved in the summer months.I often wonder how my mother managed in those days with five children and cloth nappies to wash and dry.
Needless to say in the winter the washing was dried beside a fire inside, and the house was always damp, sometime we were made to put on clean damp clothes that were not properly dry, I hated that, no wonder when I was eight I ended up in hospital with Double Pneumonia.
There were no such things as fridges, there were outside safes which were always on the south side of the house, where the sun never shone to keep the meat and milk as cool as possible.
Have you ever wondered why there were outhouses (called long drops)?
There were no such things as flushing toilets in the 1940’s, I remembered hating it in the semi dark before we went to bed walking down the long path to the outside loo, the smell would make me feel quiet sick, no spray in those days other than the smell of Jeyes fluid it was everywhere in those days as it sterilised the place especially the seat which you couldn’t avoid sitting on and as for toilet paper, we used newspaper, who thinks they are hard done-by these days?
What I think was even worse was using the china potty if you need to go through the night, we had one in every bedroom, I can still see my mother collecting them everyday and empty them some where outside not sure where and wasn’t very interested to know anyhow.
When the snow had melted enough we would go outside and play dressed in warm homemade sweaters and longs, but one thing I remember was those hand knitted gloves, playing in the icy snow, those wet gloves would stick to our fingers, sometimes we ended up having very frost bitten fingers so sore we couldn’t put them near the fire to warm up because they were too painful. We soon learnt not to get our glove wet when playing in the snow, if that was at all possible.
Well thats a little about “what everybody calls the good old days”, I would love you to comment about those days, see what other memories we can come up with.