Sixties Childhood

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Sixties Childhood

I’m old enough to remember those callers to the house who have now disappeared – the knife-sharpening man, the fizzy-pop man. Mostly men it seems, though once a traveller-woman persuaded my mother to part with a lovely summer dress.

After the brooms-and-mops man had called my mother would give me the sweet little sample tins of polish and I’d buff up the miniature piano in my dolls house.

Oddly the sitting-room in my doll’s house– polished piano, too many pictures on the walls and a large clock, made out of an old watch– very much resembled my real sitting-room today.

M J Lewis 2016

Welcome to all who visit Friday Fiction and a particular thanks to those who stay to read and comment. Thanks as ever to our host, the writer and artist Rochelle and also to the Friday Fiction regular and writer, Claire Fuller who supplies the photo this week.

(Please note all Friday Fiction photos are copyright and should only be posted in conjunction with Friday Fiction or by permission of the photographer.)

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When Dad’s Away

When Dad’s away my mother blooms,

a princess in peachy lace,

gives the hoover the run around

serenading the baby on her satin hip.

 

We feast on scrumbled eggs and tin salmon

cross-legged on old magazines in front of the telly,

let the baby suckle to kitten-soft sleep,

leave the fairies the dishes.

 

Night-time my brother takes the dog to bed

and I whisper waking spells,

crossing fingers three times, three times, three o’clock,

to tiptoe to the big bed

and lie in the lee of her back.

 

Miranda Lewis 2016

Spring Clean

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Spring Clean

A picture-perfect spring day: brisk breeze and fluffy clouds, hanging high against a nursery-blue. I climb the ladder to the loft to unfold stubby limbs of softest cotton, descend to wash away decades of dust in virgin suds.

They’re flapping on the line in tiny congruence. This one, and this I never dared to name. Ignore the idle chatter of forget-me-nots, the brash indifference of the tulips. Attend the bluebells, who nod their scented heads and say, it’s time. And I agree, as every mother must.

So one by one, unpeg them all and let them fly. At last.

M J Lewis ©2016

This is my hundred-word story for Friday Fiction, hosted each week by the gracious Rochelle. This strange and enigmatic photo comes from Mary Shipman. For more stories from around the globe click here.

Thanks to all who visit and especially to those who take the time to comment.

The Morning-Go-Round

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The Morning-Go-Round

Quick bath, slurp of tea, working face on, three pairs of shoes on the mat. Sergeant Major toddler bellows, “Now, Mummy!”  and it’s big sister to the rescue (Vest and pants already – good girl!) with silly faces, Teddy dance. Soar downstairs, post stubby legs into highchair.

Porridge spoon, percussion spoon, conducting spoon; toasty soldiers, toasty triangles, great big Mummy toast. Coats on (“Sleeves gone to Scotland, Mummy!”), strap in, brake off, big push and they’re off! Blast of autumn, scudding clouds, worried face asks, “Did we beat that clock, Mummy?” Mummy shakes her half-dry hair and laughs. “Sausage, we smashed it!”

M J Lewis©2015

To misquote a phrase, cats have owners, toddlers have staff. With my son turning twenty, this is for me a piece of historical fiction. To anyone for whom it is contemporary fiction I will say it’s exhausting, but it doesn’t last forever. Also, these quiet autumn mornings, I’ve realised that, whereas I used to think I was helping my children get ready in the morning, they were actually the ones helping me.

For a merry round of 100-word Friday fiction please try this link, on any day, including indeed Friday. Congratulations are due to Rochelle on leaving behind a job and taking up a vocation. All the best Rochelle! Thanks also to Ted Strutz for the photo.