just a boy chapter ten
Trouble doesn't travel uphill
I was five now and feeling quite grown up. Mum explained to me that I had missed a birthday whilst in the Sanatorium, and she made me a bread pudding as a special treat. I was quite enjoying my new role as 'man of the house'. I mentioned to Mum about the porridge, egg, bacon, sausage and fried bread breakfasts that Nurse Pamela used to give me in the Sanatorium, and Mum patiently explained rationing to me. She told me we were only allowed one egg per person per week, and two rashers of bacon per person per fortnight.
"We just have to take the rough with the smooth, and be grateful for small mercies." Mum had a saying for everything, and it always made sense.
We were living in number eleven Halsbury Road, and our house was the second one in . We looked directly down the hill. Mum said that the other side of the road was the 'posh side'. This was because they had paint on their doors and flowers in their small, but neat front gardens. I never forgot Mum's words, and throughout the years I was to spend in the road, I always looked up to Mr and Mrs Knight, Mr and Mrs Miller and Mrs Annie Cole who lived across the road from us.
The middle of our road was dominated by two large air raid shelters, each containing six bunks. Unlike the bunks in the tunnel, they were all new and clean. The shelters looked and smelled as if they had never been used, and I played in them with Diane and Pamela who lived in number seven.
Pamela was a tall girl with pigtails, and like Peggy Woodruff she had very large feet. I asked Pamela if she would like to play 'doctors and nurses' with me in the shelter. She ran indoors, and then returned to tell me she wasn't allowed to play with me again.