Britain in 1951 was a very different place than it is now. After having recovered from the second world war, Britain was on the verge of the new era, but not quite yet, as there was still much work to do.
A typical household in Britain was that of the Morrison family. It consisted of Doris, the matriarch, and the two children, Janey and Michael. The patriarch of the family had been killed in the war, just like many other families in the area. Doris also had a mother, Winnie. The Morrisons came from London, so they were very lucky that the children had not been evacuated. They were not in central London, but in a small village just on the outskirts.
Janey was a fourteen year old, who, like any other teenager in those days, appreciated the life that she had, and showed nothing but respect for her mother. Doris was the most loving mother in the street. She would do anything for her children, and she would always go out of the way to help another person in need. Michael, on the other hand, was a very shifty person, and he sometimes made Doris worry about him when he left the house on an evening. He was seventeen, but he still had no job. He had a job working down the mine, but he got fires because of laziness. He also got into much trouble in school, and was even expelled from one. Unfortunately, there was now nothing that Doris could do, as Michael was soon approaching eighteen.
In theAutumn of 1951, it was a very typical day for the Morrison family. Doris had just came back from all of the shops.
"It's a shame, that is", said Doris, "the shopkeeper down the town said that he had no bread left, so I had to walk another five streets just to get it!"
"Never mind", said Winnie, who was living with the Morrisons because of her financial difficulties.
"Well, at least I've got it now", replied Doris, "so, where are the children?"
"Janey's in there, listening to the radio, and Michael said he's going out".
"He said he didn't know - he just wanted to go out with his mates".
"He's been doing that a lot lately!"
Doris then went into the tiny living room, where Janey was listening to Doris Day.
"How was school?" asked Doris.
"It was like any other day", replied Janey, "except Kate got caned today".
"Again? What for this time?"
"For talking to other classmates".
"That child! I'm not sure if you should be with her all the time, Janey. She'll get you into trouble one day!"
"Kate's a good friend", replied Janey, "I appreciate your concern for me, but I know when Kate gets up to her immature tricks".
"You're an intelligent girl, Janey. Just make sure that she does not cause any harm to you".
"I will, mother".
Then Winnie interupted.
"There's that television again!" she cried.
"What, next door?" asked Doris.
"It's the only television in the street, and we had to be next door to it!"
"Well, they're also thinking about getting a car".
"Yes. I was talking to Mrs.Smith yesterday, and she said that they had been saving up for one".
"Those things are a waste of money. Why can't people just walk, like they did before the war?"
"Things change, though. That's the thing. Soon, there's going to be people all over, racing those things about and causing accidents. We'd better be careful from now on!"
Janey was still listening to the radio. That was all she had to do, really, except hang around with Kate.
"Oh, I forgot to do the washing!" cried Doris.
"I'll help!" cried Janey, getting up to do the washing up with her mother.
The two people stood by the sink and scrubbed the clothes. They repeated the process for every item of clothing, and the whole activity lasted for an hour and a half.
"Let's hope it doesn't rain!" cried Doris.
"I'll go and light the fire", said Janey.
After Doris had hung the washing on the line, Michael returned.
"And where have you been?" asked Winnie, "we've been worried about you!"
"I've been for a walk and a talk with my friends", replied Michael.
"Have you heard what's on the radio?" asked Janey.
"What?" replied Winnie.
"There's been somebody pinching out of old people's homes in the area".
"Things are getting worse these days", said Doris, sitting down to do her knitting, "there are so many heartless people".
"Why are you out so much?" Winnie asked Michael.
"I told you", replied Michael.
"That's no way to speak to your grandmother", replied Doris, "and besides, mother, Michael has a right to do whatever he wants, as long as he's not breaking any laws".
"I wouldn't do anything of the sort!" yelled Michael.
"Well, I'm glad to hear that. I did my best to raise the pair of you over the years, and I'm glad it's really paid off".
"Kate's at the door", said Janey, who wanted to leave the house now that she was bored of the radio.
"Of course you can", replied Doris, giving her daughter a kiss on the cheek.
"How have you been after today?" asked Janey.
"I'm alright", replied Kate, "rough as nails, me!"
"Does it not hurt?"
"It did for about two seconds, but then it was alright after that. I hate that teacher, though. How sick in the head must she be, to do that to a child?"
"We're fourteen now. We're almost grown women".
"I suppose so, but that doesn't give her the right to do that!"
"It's always been that way. This country is strict - it always has been, and always will be!"
Then Janey's boyfriend approached.
"Hello. I've missed you today!" cried Steven, giving Janey a kiss.
"I would have went out earlier", replied Janey, "but I wouldn't want to make it sound suspiscious".
"Why haven't you told your mother yet?"
"It's not my mother - it's my grandmother. She'll be down my neck all the time, asking me questions and telling me that I shouldn't be doing this. She'll even think I've gone all the way with you!"
"Well, as long as you're not trying to hide me from them. It feels right, doesn't it?"
"Oh, of course it does!"
Janey, Kate and Steven then went for a walk by the nearby river, and Janey felt very happy with her life at the moment.
© Copyright 2016 declan mckimm. All rights reserved.
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