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I found this wonderfully recounted and strangely moving. It could almost mirror my own early upbringing, except that the toilet block was right at the top of the garden and up a steep flight of steps - no night-time trips there! This was in the fifties and it seems as though the early sixties was no different. This obviously deserves inclusion in a wider history of the author's life if only for posterity. A really enjoyable and poignant read although I detected a few superfluous commas which tripped up the flow on occasion.
I was born in the 40's but you could be describing in part my grandmothers house. It brought back memories:- one of my chores was to tear up newspaper pages into squares to be stitched through with string and hung in the outhouse for toilet paper
This is a wonderfully evocative snapshot of the author's childhood in the sixties, and a touchingly personal memory to share. I too experienced the sixties as a child and the house in this story reminds me of my grandparents' house with its outside toilet, bath in the kitchen, and chamber pots under the bed for cold winter nights!
I found this very moving. We forget how little people had back then. It was a very powerful memory that felt very real. You feel real compassion for the little girl.
Superb. What a gift, to be able to write from the point of view of a child as brilliantly as you evoked your Queenie. My heart was in my mouth as I looked down, with young Sharon, on her "dead" mother.
A very moving depiction of a vulnerable child and a very accurate evocation of another time. It was not so long ago, but our lives have changed so much. We have more money, more of everything - although, as you hint at when writing about council houses for the less privileged the problems are still there. A gem of a story.