Thursday, June 16, 2011

Yesterday 3

Here is more from Josi's life. Beneath this are two earlier extracts. Final one tomorrow.

Yesterday, when I was young........
I seemed to be always hungry as a kid. Mum fed us as well and as often as she could.
I would walk down Dalyell Road and smell the privet blossom in one of the hedges. I would peek round the gate to see if there was a bottle of milk on the doorstep. If it was a half pint I would drink it all and take the bottle. If it was the tall one I would drink some and put the bottle back. I had free milk at school too. I don't know how often or how long I did this. One day a big hand picked me up by the shoulder and shook me like an old yellow duster. I looked up and there was this very big policeman, (about eight foot tall I thought.)
I wouldn't tell him where I lived; it was on the same street. So he took me up the road to Bon Marche and across to the police station. They put me behind the counter and I could not see over it. “A terrible crime!”, they said. Milk was rationed in those days. I wasn't seven yet.
They had to go and fetch my Dad. He wouldn't come and get me until after the Greyhound racing on the wireless. I was very hungry and I cried. The police gave me a jug of milk and a glass. I had a sleep. My Dad still hadn't come. I asked for some tea. They gave me some milk to drink. I thought I was in prison for ever.
Finally my Dad dragged me home and I cried all the way. Then I got a good hiding for stealing and probably because his bets went down too. We had to go to Quinn and Axten's shop because some German named Mister Hitler was coming to get us for my being bad, Mum said. And we were in their shelter in the basement when a landmine dropped nearby. It had not exploded so we were all led out by the Wardens. It was like daytime outside, with long streaks of lights all over the sky.
I could see the police station. Every window had a fire in it and it burned right down to the ground that night.
I was very happy.
I have not drunk milk for sixty years.


  1. Those were the days! I remember with fondness my little bottle of milk which we had in school to drink every day. These days that poor copper would be had up for mistreating a child and drummed out of the force. Old fashined methods had some ( a lot ) of merit, in my 'Grumpy old man' view.

  2. It always amazes me how childhood experiences can shape you for life. I hope these episodes are shaping up for a book or series?

  3. I agree with Martin - Josi these pieces are wonderful and I'd love to read more.
    Teresa :)

  4. I'm so enjoying reading about your memories, Josi! Thank you for sharing!