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Mildred

 

When I was a kid I sat on Santa Claus’s knee... “Be good to your brother and sister”, that’s all he said. I wanted a scooter to scoot on, but I never got it. I got a special doll instead... she ran in the road and got run over... I cried my eyes out. Annabel the dolly... is that right? My Charlie had two boys... I’ve forgotten their names.

My husband died over Christmas... and all my family are dead. I ain’t got any brothers and sisters... just the three girl children for Mary. Oh dear, I can’t remember them all... Annabel is it? I think she ran in the road and got hit. I cried my eyes out. Who is it I’m talking about, my dad? He was wounded in the war... shoulder... he had it blown away... and he had a... a... it’s gone. We had a... he... it’s gone. Now what was it? I know he couldn’t work. He was a stumpy man... a stocky man! I can see him! I miss him loads... his name was Albert... Albert they called him. Albert to most people... (Proudly) My dad! Oh, he had to work at the brewery... couldn’t do anything else. No fault of his own.

Mum died, roughly four years ago... three years ago, maybe less... She had a... no, it’s gone. She wasn’t good to me. I can’t remember her well. It’s all changed. Some people would say it was better but it’s just the same underneath. We had egg and chips... chips on Monday and Thursday... or jam n’ bread or brown sauce sandwiches. Good n’ all. People would turn their noses up at it now.

I remember... now what was it?

My memory is not so good... honestly... not so good as it was... 1932 I was born.  

I met my husband in the pub. You’re not allowed to have a drink here! I’ve been here three months... two months, maybe less. I do nothing but miss my husband all the time... he used to drive tankers for the brewery. I liked him... he was ordinary. He made me laugh... cussed me rotten... still I probably deserved it.

We used to sing together! I don’t sing much now. I miss drinking and smoking, the fights. I miss all the noise and the people. I’ve forgotten it. I’ve forgotten so much... is it right I’m going dead now, am I?

I moved to the Terrace... that was a happy time. My husband’s still there... or has he moved out? I think he moved out. Never had children of my own... just the grandchildren... just ordinary children called... now what was it? Annabel and Charlie!

These pictures, someone has just stuck them up... I wish they’d take them down. I don’t know who they are... they’re not mine.