l remember being in a wee push chair with my little sister. We were both given a sticky white chew in waxy paper with twists. Our family were viewing a brand new 3 bedroom, huge garden, 'cooncil hoose'. It was a very exciting time.
I can't ever recall my mother even looking at me, never mind being cuddled or loved. My dad did that. Tucked us in at night, gave us a bath and dried our hair, bzzzz bzzzz, rubbing it with a rough, warm towel from the boiler cupboard.
She played the piano all the time. Fur Elise always takes me back to that place.
I was given lessons, but was much too shy to let anyone listen.
I crept around the house incase she got annoyed, feeling anxious all the time. No one spoke much, unless it was a brother or my older sister, to tell you to get out, go away. I still envy happy-looking, laughing families to this day.
We all had activities, dance classes, tennis lessons, scouts, swimming, and were taught good manners and etiquette. I feel that was her showing the outside world what a wonderful mother she was .. (yeah, right)
My dad worked very hard as a French Polisher. Big pieces of furniture sitting the living room waiting to be transformed. Another reason for her to pick a fight about. His kind hands were always covered in varnish. He was quietly funny and gentle with us girls. He was different with the boys, but that's another story ..
They were either fighting or in bed. Nothing in between.
During the night my wee transistor radio would be switched on, ready under a pillow, my hand covering the exposed ear. I know a lot about music.
It was always HER who instigated how the atmosphere in the house would be.
One sunny Sunday afternoon, l walked into the living room and walked straight out again. My mother was out-of-control drunk.
My sweetest dad was as usual, struck dumb-with-shame bullied by his pretty, classy-looking wife spewing obscenities and waving a bottle of her many pills in the air. 'I'VE DONE IT' she screamed then fell.
Normally l was invisible to her, but she crawled over to where l was, stretching out her manicured hand. I felt a surge of love, as l thought she was reaching for me, her young daughter, but it wasn't for me, it was the tumbler of whisky glass on the fireplace. It was the only time she had looked into my eyes. Her lips were blue.
One last breath, then she was dead.
Ever since that day, things were incredibly sad and pitiful for our "family".
Maybe l will tell you about it ..