Sunday, June 14, 2009
Not long after we’d moved into Jubilee Terrace, I was on one of the many errands I ran for mi mum. As I walked through Rippendon, I was reading through the shopping list mi mum had given me. When I saw a notice on the newspaper mans’ shop door. It said;
BOY FOR NEWSPAPER DELIVERIES.
I stood reading the notice for a few minutes as I contemplated the possibility. ‘Why not’, I thought. ‘It can’t hurt to ask and if he sez ‘NO’, I’ve lost nowt’.
The bell above the glass door tinkled as I pushed it open and went inside.
“Can I help ya?” sez an old grey-haired lady.
“I’ve come about the job advertised on your door.”
“Just a minute, you need to speak to my husband.”
Her husband was at the back of the shop writing in a large book. As she spoke to him, he looked up at me, over the top of his half-frame glasses. Pushing his chair back from the desk, he came over to the counter and said;
“Mi wife sez you’ve come about the newspaper round.”
Yes, can you tell me something about it first?”
The Newsagent was a small man with a large, balding head. His eyebrows were very bushy and a long yellow pencil stuck out from behind his ear. He wore a collarless shirt. Over the shirt he wore a maroon jacket with several more pens and pencils sticking out of the top pocket. His hands were quite dirty from the ink off the newspapers and on his thumb he wore a rubber thimble with tiny points protruding out of it.
“How old are you lad?”
“10 and-a-quarter”, I sez.
“Oh that’s good, cause you’ve got to be over 10 to hold a paper-round. Have you ever delivered papers before lad?
“No, this will be mi first time.”
“Well, that doesn’t matter. We can always train you up for a week or two. Are you honest?”, He says, as his bushy eyebrows came together when he peered down at me over his specs.
“Course, I am! I haven’t stole nout in mi whole life.”
“Very good. That’s what I like to hear because Saturday mornings you’ll have to collect the money for the weeks papers and if you’re short, it’ll come out of your wages…do you understand?”
“Yes.”, I sez.
“Alright lad, just let me talk it over with my missus. What’s your name anyway?”
“Mine's Mr. Sutcliff. I won’t be long.”
Mr. Sutcliff turned and went over to his wife and had a chat to her. As they were talking, I noticed her look over at me a couple of times. Each time she looked, she gave me a faint smile. After they finished talking, Mr. Sutcliff came back over to the counter and said,
“The job’s yours, if ya want it lad.”
“Alright.”, I sez. I’ll let you know first thing in the morning cause I’ll have to ask mi mum first.”
“Make sure ya come back early in the morning and let me know or I’ll have to find someone else. I hope you’re good at getting up in the morning cause I’ll expect you here Monday till Saturday at six o’clock sharp. The job pays 9/- a week. See you tomorrow morning. Oh, and one more thing, don’t ever let me catch you pinching sweets off the counter when you think I’m not looking cause I’ve got eyes in the back of mi head!”
I gave him a smile and said, “So ‘as mi mum and so have I.”
The bell tinkled as I opened the door and as soon as it closed and there was no one looking I jumped in the air and stuck mi 2 clenched fists skywards!
After I’d done mi mums’ errands, I ran home with the shopping as fast as I could. As soon as I got in the back door, I yelled out for mi mum.
“Hey mum, mum!”
“I’m upstairs, in the bedroom!”, came the loud reply.
I bounded up the stairs, two at-a-time and into her bedroom where she was cleaning.
“Hey mum, guess what?”
“Hey Richard, guess what?”. She sez.
“What?”, I sez.
“Guess what you’re gonna’ get if you don’t learn to walk up those bloody wooden stairs more quietly. Old Mrs.Dicksen, next door has had a headache, nonstop, since you kids came to live here.”
“Hey mum, I’ve just got mi'sen mi first paid job!”
"What the hell are you talking about now lad?”
"Old Mr. Suttcliff gave me a job delivering newspapers for him."
"Oh that's nice. He just happened to know who you were and came up to you on the street and said, would you like to deliver newspapers for me?"
"More or less."
"You must think I came down in the last bloody shower Richard! Now, what really happened?"
After I told her about going in his shop for the interview, I said, "Can I do it mum, please?"
"Oh, I see you've learned some manners all of a sudden lad…and who may I ask is going to get you out of bed in the mornings for this new job of yours and what, pray may I ask,
time do you have to be there?"
"Not till six O'clock Monday till Saturday."
"Six O-bloody-clock! You have a hard job getting out of bed in the mornings at 7:30 and if I was fool enough to bring you a bucket upstairs for a pee you'd still be there at lunchtime! How much is he going to pay you for the job?"
"9/6d a week - cash!"
"And what do you suppose you're going to spend 9/6d a week on besides sweets and fags, or shouldn't I ask?"
"I haven't thought about it yet. I was just too excited about getting the job."
"When do you have to let him know by?"
"Tomorrow morning, early, 'cause if not, he'll give the job to someone else."
"And what about school or did you forget about that?"
"I didn't forget. He's gonna' give me all the details tomorrow but the job must finish in time for school because he has other boys who deliver for him too."
"Go back and see him tomorrow and tell him, before ya mum says yes, she wants to know more details, alright?"
After the details were worked out and mi mum agreed to me doing the paper round, as long as I saved all the money I made to by misen some new clothes.
Monday morning came and I was at Mr. Sutcliffs shop at 5:55. All the mornings' newspapers had been stacked in order of delivery, and then put into a large brown canvas paper carrier with a shoulder strap and a big flap that covered the papers so as to keep them dry on wet mornings.
At around 6:05 a little bit older boy than myself arrived who was going to teach me the paper round. He spoke to Mr. Sutcliff for a few seconds, and then Mr. Sutcliff scolded him for being late again. Turning to me, the boy said, "OK, let's go!" As we walked out the shop, I was thinking about what he said…he said "OK"…OK was not allowed in our house. If I ever said, "OK", mi mum would chuck a fit. "Who the hell do you think you're talking to in that American slang? OK is not a word. It's not even English and you're certainly not a bloody yank, so don't let me hear you using that garbage language again or you'll get a bloody thick ear! Do you understand me?"
"I'll carry the bag today kid and you carry it tomorrow, OK?"
"Alright, it sounds fair enough to me"
"If you watch me you'll be able to finish the round in about an hour and 20 minutes. If not, it'll take you 2 hours, OK?"
As we took off walking he said, "First, you got to learn how to throw the paper so it doesn't unroll but don't get caught 'cause if old 'Sooty' finds out, you'll get the boot like me, OK? Now, this house has a big dog so be careful 'cause if he gets hold of you he'll rip ya balls off. OK? This house, has two old ladies who are almost deaf so don't bother to chuck the paper here. I go through the gate and leave it on the step, then steal a milk bottle on the way out, OK?"
On and on we went until we finally came to the end of the paper round. By this time we were well passed a place called Cunning Corner.
"What now?", I said.
"Sooty gives me some bus fare so I can ride back to Ripponden on the bus but if you want to run back we can spend the fare on some fags and split 'em, half & half. OK?"
"Now you're talkin' my language!"
Off we ran at top speed, back to Rippendon to another shop that he knew of where we bought some Woodbines with the bus fare.
"Why aren't you doing the round anymore?"
"Well, old Sooty caught me stealing some of the collection money, plus I got a better round with the other shop. More money and more perks! OK?"
"OK, see you in the morning."
It didn't take very long for me to learn the paper round and although it was a very difficult job I enjoyed the fact that I was now earning some money. Oldham Road was a long, flat, windy road that went around a big hairpin corner at Slithero Bridge. Seeing as mi dad went to work much earlier these days, sometimes I'd run into him on mi way back from the paper round. On occasions Mr. Sooty would sometimes make a mistake and put too many papers in my bag, so at those times, I felt quite good about giving mi dad a free mornings' newspaper.
When the weather was fine, the paper round was fine and when the weather was bad the paper round was also bad! On occasion, it would be pelting with rain and I'd be soaking wet even before I got to the first delivery. Some of the houses I delivered to were built on a steep hillside, which ran down to the pavements' edge. This meant it was not possible to throw the newspaper over the fence and into the doorways. These types of houses always had a large number of steps to walk up which were very difficult to negotiate when the weather was icy and cold.
Past mi dads' work and around the hairpin corner there was a boys' private Grammar School. It was a massive, old Victorian building that stood on its own well-kept grounds. Each morning I passed the Grammar school, I'd dawdle a few minutes so I could look through the fence bars, into the grounds area. The whole front of the building was surrounded by beautifully kept green lawns and flowerbeds. Small shrubs encircled the perimeters of the lawns. Most mornings I would see the grounds men in their overalls mowing or trimming the edges of lawn or tending to the weeds in the outer gardens. The
School building itself was a large, two-story place with dormer windows running at intervals along the long steep top. The outer stone walls were made of quarry-cut square stone and, in places, Ivy had been allowed to grow up as far as the dormer windows. Sometimes the old school reminded me of a military-type building as everything was in such perfect order and spotlessly clean.
On my way back from the paper round, I would walk along the same side of the road as the school. Some kids, obviously, didn't live there as I used to see them arriving in their flash, luxury cars. At those times I would walk quite slowly past the large, double, wrought iron gates so I could get a glimpse of what it was like to be a rich families boy. The sleek maroon Jaguars and silver Bentleys would glide up to the large gates in the private driveway. Sometimes a chauffer, dressed in his dark blue uniform and cap would get out of the car and then walk around the side to open the door for the rich schoolboy to step out, at his leisure.
The private school uniforms were burgundy and grey with long trousers. As I stood around and watched, I was wishing for the day to come when I would be allowed to wear long trousers.
On rare occasions, I would sometimes see a few Grammar School boys riding the upper deck of the Halifax bus. As they sat and talked with each other some of them would pull out a cigarette from a shiny silver cigarette case and say to their friend, "Would you care for a cigarette, old chap."
"Don't mind if I do, old boy. You'll have to try one of mine next time. I'm smoking Benson & Hedges these days. They're quite an acceptable brand you know."
When the Bus Conductor came around he would never dare to tell the rich boys, "Put those fags out or I'll make you pay full fare."
Pulling their leather wallets out from their inside Blazer pockets, they would flash a school pass along with a few large, colored bills. I could see that this very natural action from the private school boys would keep the old bus conductor in his place as they probably had more spending money in their leather wallets than the bus conductor made in a fortnights work plus over-time.
When the bus conductor had collected all the fares plus my half-ticket contribution, I would pull out one of mi 'Willie-woodbines' from its cardboard five-pack and light up. It was one of my favorite habits, to sit there looking out the top windows and tune into the their posh speaking language, so as to hear how the other-half lived. After some time, this little habit would get me down so I'd dismiss it with a 'Lucky buggers, they don't even know they're alive and it would probably kill 'em if they had to get up every morning to do my paper round for a few extra Bob. This thought would always make me feel a little bit more at ease as I sat amongst the opulence.
Some mornings, I'd jump out of bed and look out the window to find it had snowed very heavily overnight and was still snowing large, fat, white flakes. It almost looked as though someone one was on our rooftop dropping pieces of cotton wool down past my small window. On the snowy mornings I would not feel like venturing out at a quarter to six, so as to be in Ripponden at 5 to six.
Old Mr. Sooty would always have the newspaper bag full and ready to go, no matter what the weather was like. When the snow was deep he'd say to me, "Just do ya best lad and deliver as many papers as ya can and what ya don't get to deliver, bring back and I'll give 'em to postman to deliver later on."
There were times when I could have brought half the papers back but I knew that Oldham Road was a part of old Jack the Postmans' route and if I didn't deliver them old Jack would have to lump my extra papers around.
On Saturday mornings I'd set off at 7 O'clock, instead of 6. That was so I wouldn't be too early at peoples houses and it would give 'em time to be up so they could pay their weekly bill. Saturdays always took twice as long because I'd have to knock at each door and say, "I come to collect the paper bill money." This was a way some boys would make money. They'd get up earlier than the usual paperboy and knock on peoples door carrying and old newspaper bag and a small red book and pencil. When the door opened they'd say, "The usual by is off sick today so I'm collecting for him. Just write down the weekly fee and sign your name on the right-hand side opposite it." This little scam used to work for a week or two until one day someone, unknowingly, knocked on a local Policemans' door.
Sometimes, when the weather was bad, some of the customers would give me a small tip. I would never dream of stealing from them as the other boys did but I did find out that by saying I had no change yet, some customers would say, "Oh well, it's only 3 pence. You'd might as well take it for a tip as you've given us good service so far." At other houses, I would try the same stunt but they'd say, "Just wait a few minutes and I'll go back inside and look for some change." Or "I don't have any change so come back next week and I'll pay you double." This little action caused two effects; it made me late finishing and it made old Mr. Sooty mad 'cause the customer didn't pay.
Another little trick some boys would play was to tell the customer, "You didn't pay last week so it's double this week." If the customer insisted he did, the boy expressed his apologies and say, "It's my fault, I must have forgotten to write it in the books." If the customer said, "Oh, I must have forgot to leave it out for you. Just a minute and I'll get some more money for you." Then the paperboy was 2/- extra in pocket!
Some paperboys would even steal the milk mans' money that had been left under the empty milk bottles for him. These types of boys only lasted a few weeks before they got into big trouble and also got the sack.
In those days around the small villages of Yorkshire, if anyone got the sack or the neighbors found out a family was in debt to a Hire-Purchase Firm, it was considered the shame of the neighborhood and when the culprit walked around the village it was obvious everyone knew about it and strongly disapproved. Yorkshire people can be quite nosy at times so one has to be quite clever at hiding their actions or the better way is dead honesty.
I'd been delivering my papers for quite a few months now so between my paper round money and the odd tips, which I usually spent on sweets or fags before I got home, I now had a good few pounds saved up.
Each cold morning I'd go out delivering papers, I'd be dreaming of the tin of money mi mm had hidden from me in her bedroom somewhere. 'Maybe I'd buy misen a Raleigh racing bike or better still, maybe I'd buy a racing greyhound so I can make more money.'
Then again, if I keep saving I can open my own cobblers shop like old Mr. Smith. Maybe I'll buy a high-powered air rifle or some breeding ferrets so as to make more money off 'a young-uns', and the sale of the rabbits I'll catch! Or better still, I'll buy misen an expensive leather motorbike jacket and put silver studs all over it and then buy some ice -blue jeans and a pair of burgundy and blue suede 'brothel-creepers' with some luminous pink or iridescent green socks, a leather belt with a large brass buckle and a long silver heavy-duty chain hanging off it and I'd be the 'Vicars-Knickers' or 'Jack the lad' or the 'Cock-of-the-North' struttin' around the village for everyone to see!
Now, the dreams of mine never came to pass because mi mum had plans of her own for my money and mi dad was the designer of her plans! One day, I said to mi mum, "I must have ten pounds in mi savings tin now mum, so it's time I spent it on something."
"Oh yes. And what do you have in mind for your life savings?"
Without the least bit of hesitancy I ran through my list of requirements and after I finished she said, "You can forget about that list of dreams. If you spend that money you can buy yourself a good 3-piece suit so you have something decent to go out in!"
I felt like I'd just been hit on the head with the Judges wooden hammer as mi mind stopped and I saw an image of the greyhound chasing the racing bike and the Ferret sat on the shiny saddle as the bike tore past a Teddy boy stood at a bus stop!
"No", I said. "I won't do it!"
"Then you won't go on the paper round anymore if you think I'm getting you up every morning in all types of weather so you can spend all that money on a lot of old rubbish, then you've got another thing coming my boy!"
"You don't have to get me up anymore.", I said. "I'll get misen up from now on so I can spend mi money on what I like!"
"Oh no, you'll do nothing of the sort. I'll get you up and you'll spend the money on what I tell you 'cause I'm your mother and what I say goes. You'll have no say until you're big enough to bring enough money into this house so as to pay for your rent and food and that’s that! I don't want to hear another bloody word about it or else!"
With that, I stormed off up to my room and gave the stair-carpet a good old stomping on the way. Mi mother stomped up after me and gave me one of her famous, thundering good hidings.
As I lay on mi bed in tears, I contemplated the situation. It went as such, 'It's my money. I should be able to do with it as I see fit! I'm the one who has to carry that bloody big, heavy newspaper bag! She may get me up but I'll pay her to do that in future so she can't chuck it back up in mi face! Well, a new suit may not be too bad you know, especially if you get a ¾ jacket with long vents up the back and purple velvet Italian lapels and the trousers could be drain-pipes without a 'turn-up' and the Brothel-creepers would just top it off, although the luminous pink socks may just push her over the edge so better not insist on those yet.' Mi other option is to give her all the money and tell her, "You can have it all except for a Pound and I'm quitting the paper round!
This contemplation process took about a good hour after which I went back down stairs and read her mi 'bill of rights' as a working child. After I'd finished she said, "You're getting a new suit, like it or lump it and you'll get the style your dad picks out for you."
Then she gave me another good belting and said, "Now get up those stairs and if you stomp your feet this time, you'll stay in all week!"
Mi bottom lip sagged out as mi face dropped and back up the stairs I went, stomping much harder this time. As soon as I reached my room and threw myself as hard as I could on the old double bed, she came upstairs again and gave mi bare legs another sound thrashing and said,
"You defy me, you cheeky little bleeder! Now you won't go out after school all week long so don't bother to ask!"
"Don't worry, I won't!" I said between sobs as she came back in to give me some more of the same treatment.
Soon as Saturday came, they both dragged me by the collar, unwillingly, out of the house and down to the bus stop where we waited for the Halifax bus to come.
"Get that bloody puss off ya face before I bloody well knock it off and if you show me up on his bus, we'll get off at the next stop and you'll get another thundering good hiding! Are you listening to me Richard?"
Soon as we reached Halifax we found a good tailors shop that advertised MADE TO MEASURE SUITS. Mi dad, mi mum and me walked into the tailors shop. Up comes an old fogy salesman, "Can I help you good people?"
"You can. We would like a new suit for our lad here."
"I have some nice inexpensive ones over the back here hanging on the peg if you'd care to come this way."
"He wants a tailor-made one!" sez mi dad.
"Oh! Excuse me Sir! In that case, please follow me and I'll show you some patterns and material."
Unwillingly, I follow Iris and George over to the tailored section of the shop.
"What color do you have in mind Missus?
"Swindells! You'd better ask Richard, It's for him."
"Burgundy or bright red velvet!" I sez.
The salesmans' one eyebrow raised up at least an inch on one side and an inch and a half on 'tuther side.
Mi mum looked down at me with her disapproving scowl and said, "You're not having a bright red velvet suit, lad, so you can get that notion right out of your tiny brain!"
The salesman looked straight at mi mum as he waited for further orders. "I think you'll find something you're looking for in this book of materials." he said as he handed the book to mi mum.
"Oh the suits not for me. You'd better give it to him. He's the one who'll be wearing it."
"No I won't!" I sez, under mi breath. This brought another glare from mi mum. I unwillingly took the swatch book from the salesman who said to me, "You have a look through here and I'll be back in a minute or so. Just let me know when you see something you like, sir."
As I opened the swatch book in a disinterested manner, mi mum tried to be nice about it all by saying, "Oh! That's a nice color lad. You'd look good in that color."
It was a dowdy-looking brown, so I very quickly flipped over to the next swatch. I stopped at a light, shiny purple fabric. "Keep going!" sez mi mum as she helped me turn the swatch pages.
"It's not heavy, you know. I'm not an invalid!" I said.
This comment caused an undercover violent action from her. As soon as she saw the coast was clear she grabbed a handful of mi coat and gave it a couple of real good shakes!
"Ow!" I said out loud so as the salesman could hear. As soon as he looked over she replaced the scowl with a plastic smile and continued to help me turn the swatches.
Eventually, after much bullying, a medium blue-black small check wool material was decided upon.
The salesman came trotting back over to us with his tape measure around his neck. He was a man of about fifty-odd with neatly-combed graying hair and a well-trimmed 'Terry Thomas moustache', a blue shirt and dark blue trousers with navy socks and black, shiny lace-up classic shoes.
'Not an offensive thing about him', I thought. 'A life-long member of the old fogy club, probably a president of something.'
"So, we've made a decision on the material, have we?"
I gave him an icy look and mi mum him her phony smile. When she showed him the swatch he gave us a phony comment, "Oh what a lovely choice. You'll look quite a young gentleman in this color." He said. "Now, if you'd step this way, we'll take a few measurements."
All this time, me dad had been looking around the shop at some 'off the peg' suit styles he liked.
"Just hang your arms at your sides in a relaxed manner." Said the salesman as he pulled his tape measure from around his neck. "Better remove your top coat so as we can get an accurate measurement."
After I took mi big coat off, I tried to make one of mi shoulders go up and the other one slightly down but the Salesman must have been wise to this little gimmick, as he leveled off mi shoulders before he took the measurement.
He quickly jotted all the measurements down and last of all, he said, "Just look straight ahead and the final measurement will be the inside leg."
"I can do that misen!" I said to the salesman as I reached for his tape.
"Stand still Richard and don't be cheeky!" sez mi mum.
By the time he'd finished, mi dad was now finished looking around. His timing was perfect.
"Now, what style lapels would like?" The salesman said.
"Real narrow Italian lapels." I said.
George said, "Big, wide lapels!" and the salesman wrote down, 'wide classic lapels'.
Then he said, "Single or Double-breasted?"
"Single!" I said.
"Double!" said George.
"Double-breasted." Said the salesman, as he wrote on his note-pad.
"Straight-leg and no turn-ups or straight-leg with turn-ups?"
"Straight-leg with no turn-ups!" I said.
"Straight-leg with turn-ups!!" said George.
"Straight-leg with turn-ups." Wrote the salesman as he talked to himself.
"Now, last but not least, how wide do you want the bottoms?" he said, looking at George.
"24 inches", said George
"Make it 12 inches!" I said to the salesman.
The salesman looked at me then back at George.
"24 inches!" said George.
The salesman was just about to write 24 inches, when I said quite firmly, "NO! I don't want 24 inch bottom trousers!!"
The salesman stopped writing in mid-stream.
"24 inches!" said George. "Only a bloody idiot would walk around in a suit with 12 inch bottoms and no turn-ups!"
The salesman looked back to me.
"12 inch bottoms or you can cancel the order!"
Now, Iris pipes up and put her two-penneth in. "Maybe 24 inch bottoms are a bit wide for his legs."
The salesman looked at her and said, "Maybe 20 inch bottoms and turn-ups would look good."
Just as the salesman smiled and was about to write '20 inches', I said, "NO! 12 inch bottoms or nowt!!"
This determination on my behalf caused her to screw her face up this time.
"22 inch bottoms!" said George.
"18" said Iris.
"12" I said. "Or nowt!!!"
As we argued over the trousers, the salesmans' head was spinning around in circles from one of us to the other.
"18 inch bottoms and that's final!" said Iris.
"Bloody stupid!" sez George. "My pants are 26 inch bottoms and there's nowt wrong with them. Only bloody Teddy Boys wear 18" bottoms and that went out of style in King Edwards' days".
"Teddy Boys wear 10 inch bottoms". I said. "I know 'cause I asked one how wide his pants were!"
"18 inch bottoms". Iris said to the Salesman. "Write that down!"
"Bloody daft wench." Sez George.
"I wont' ever wear 'em." I sez to mi mum.
"How much deposit would you like to leave on the order?" sez the salesman as he looked at me.
"NOWT!" I said, as I scowled at him.
The anger behind the word, 'nowt' caused him to move backward a pace or two.
"How much will the suit cost?" sez Iris.
"8 Pounds 10 shillings give or take a few shillings." Said the salesman.
"He'll leave 4 Pounds deposit." said Iris as she handed him my hard-earned money.
"Thank you Mrs. Swindells."
"Don't thank me, he's buying the suit."
"Thank you sir." Said the salesman.
"Don't thank me. I ain't wearin' it!"
Another plastic smile from Iris and we walk out the shop.
"It'll be ready to fit next Saturday." Called the Salesman.
I never even acknowledged him, I just walked straight out. As soon as we got outside Iris gave me a quick check and then gave me a smack in the butt of mi ear and said, "And that's only for starters! You wait till I get you home lad. I'll make you real sorry you ever showed me up in front of strangers in a shop!"
The following week, we went to Halifax to get fitted for the new suit. The week after that we picked up the suit. The following Monday I went into Mr. Sutcliff's shop and told him I was quitting the paper round. He asked me to train up a new boy, which I did and Saturday morning, I drew mi last paycheck.
When mi mum woke me up on Monday morning for the paper round, she said, "Come on lad, you'll be late for the round if you don't hurry!"
"If I stay in bed until 7 this morning I wont be late."
"What the hell are you going on about? Are you awake yet or talking in your sleep?"
"I'm not asleep." I said, as I lay there facing mi bedroom wall. "I'm wide awake."
"What's all this bloody nonsense you're talking about then? It's 5:40. You'll be late if you don't hurry!"
"I won't ever be late 'cause on Saturday morning I quite the job."
"What did you say?"
"I said, on Saturday morning I quit the job. Another boy is doing mi round today!"
"You little bugger!" she sez.
"And further more, you can beat me as much as you like, I will never ever wear that stupid suit, as long as I live!"
With that, Iris walked out of mi bedroom and never spoke to me for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks of not speaking to me, one morning she started speaking. For the next 2 weeks I gave her the 'yes-no' treatment. From the day we picked up the new suit, my relationship with mi mum and dad changed. It steadily got worse.
Jubilee Terrace was not a very happy time in my life. I could not say it was the worst time as that was still to come.