FOWC with Fandango: Cheap

October Monthly Market 10.09 (10)

I grew up with cheap for the plain and simple reason that we had no money. It was end of World war II, dad came home and got married to mum. Dad was not trained for any special job, we were working class and so he took what he found. His first job was working on the railway. We were living in three rooms above another three rooms where grandad lived. A slum in the East End of London, no bathroom, no running hot water and a toilet that you shared with spiders and other unknown insects in the garden. As I grew up in that house I never really noticed that it was cheap, because I had never known expensive.

Our furniture all had so called “utility” marks which was a black stamp on the wood to show that it was made from recycled wood as that was all you got in the war years and above all it was really cheap. I remember one piece of furniture my parents had to throw into the garbage, because it had woodworm. We had a radio that was held together by string on the dials, a devious method from dad. Mum always said if you have food on the table that is important. Mum could not cook and of course it was the cheap cuts. No, I was not spoiled as a child.

We had a daily market and that was where you bought anything you might need. Mum and dad paid on the weekly when possible. My shoes all came from the co-op shop because she could buy cheques from a guy that called once a week. I would see shoes in other shops, fashionable and modern, but no, mum took me to the co-op to get my shoes for school. They had to be brown for the uniform and co-op shoes in brown were not exactly the last cry. I was then about 12 years old, approaching the modern teenage years, but mum had no idea of what I really wanted. Luckily I had to wear school uniform which you had to buy from a certain shop, so I did not have the problem of having to wearing modern stuff which we could not afford. The uniform was probably good quality, but she soon found that she could pay weekly. I lead a weekly life as a kid.

She would knit me pullovers, but buy only a few ounces of the wool and the rest she would reserve because she could not pay for the complete amount. I must say that I went to grammar school and stayed at school until I was 17 years old which was a privilege for my working class background. Other kids went sent to work at 16 to earn their keep, but I stayed on at my grammar school, took my GCE exams and stayed an extra year for a commercial education – typing, steno, bookkeeping etc. and had my first job in the City of London. I was on a monthly wage paid into a bank account., something unknown at home, as dad was still getting his weekly pay packet in cash.  Mum had then also started to go to work, her dream job she always wanted as a shop assistant, working in Woolworths.

I know what cheap is and today I still compare prices and think about it before I buy it, but I pay cash for what I want. If I cannot, I save until I can. I think that was something I got from growing up on the “never-never” as we called weekly instalment payments.

FOWC with Fandango: Cheap

Feline RDP Saturday: Feline Autumn

This is a reblog, Tabby is sleeping, exhausted again after her annual fight with the leaf soldiers: read on

Autumn Leaves 28.10 (2)

Tabby“I will open the window for you Tabby, so that you can go out.”

“No Mr. Human, I am only observing the situation.”

“What situation.”

“That is obvious Mrs. Human. They are gathering in strength, they are forming an attack. Look how they are just laying there, waiting for the moment to pounce. They are planning an ambush, I can hear their murmers, Kill, kill, kill.”

“That sounds quite dramatic Tabby. Who are we talking about?”

“The leaf soldiers of course. During the night they have decided to attack: have formed bataillons, there are hundred, no thousands, perhaps even millions of them. What chance does a Tabby feline with a MacDonalds “M” engraved on its forehead have, against such a ruthless foe. They know no mercy. There are too many of them to be trampled to death.”

“But they are just dead leaves Tabby.”

“They are not “just dead leaves” they are a threat to the feline existence. They are lying in wait to pounce when I make a move. No, Mrs. Human, there is only one solution, to have patience and wait. On the other paw as the famous feline General Whiskers Patton meowed “battle is the most magnificent competition in which a feline can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. Felines are not afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of being a feline”. And he was the best fighter we had.”

“What happened to him?”

“He had bad luck in his last battle. He was already on his ninth life and that was that.”

“But you still have enough lives Tabby. Look the wind is becoming stronger and the leaves are disappearing.”

“Yes, I am saved. Perhaps there might be some leaf soldiers still alive. I will now leave my home and fight against the remainders. Prepare a dish of tuna fish for my return and warm my bed. It is a far far better thing I now do than I have ever done. I will be a hero in the annals of felinedom.”

“Yes Tabby, definitely, didn’t you steal that quote?”

“I wrote the original, the guy that put it in his book borrowed it from me.”

Feline RDP Saturday: Feline Autumn

RDP Saturday: Autumn

Mushrooms growing in dad's garden

Autumn reminds me of visits to London

Reminds me of dad, already 90 years old, still living in his council house

A tree in his garden in the working class suburb of Dagenham growing its mushrooms surrounded by the fallen leaves

Autumn Leaves in Oxlow Lane, Dagenham

London Streets with the leaves swept to one side

Days of brown and yellow

Dad was then in the winter of his life 1915-2016

Dad walking home

RDP Saturday: Autumn

Good Morning


This is one of those mystery photos – where is the mistake? There I was looking forward to toast for breakfast. The machine was ready and I was ready, but the toast was still thinkng about it. No poblem, the golden oldie forgot to put it in the toaster, although the toaster was switched on. Getting older is not fun. So I dropped the toast in the machine but forgot to lower the cradle. I did it again and the result was almost two pieces of burnt toast rescued at the last minute. In the meanwhile Mr. Swiss was searching for his walking stick again. Yesterday he lost it twice. Once it was in the car in the garage, and the second time it was leaning against the garage wall. He has only needed to depend on the stick for a few months and is still learning. I am a professional of course, after walking by stick fo a couple of years, he will soon get the routine.


Yesterday was interesting in the supermarket. They have the bread baking part towards the back, but they decided to bring a table to the front for everyone to see. Most were admiring the work and walking past, but I naturally made a stop and took out my mobile phone camera for a photo. Mr. Swiss had already moved on and was waiting impatiently for me to finish my photo session. The baker was preparing our traditional platt bread that is a week-end custom in our part of the woods. I have made them myself in my younger years, but not as well as he could.


We actually got some clouds yesterday, the sort I like where they float in the sky with some good colour effects. I was sitting outside on the porch searching for inspiration to write and my telephone rang. It was Mr. Swiss, although I only saw his name. He was at the local hospital for a CT scan, nothing too bad, but I could not hear him and he could not hear me. This went on for a couple of hours until he arrived home. It was really frustrating and we both realised how dependent we are on having contact when you need it. Someone somewhere had pressed a wrong button. All’s well that ends well and now and again we have a telephone check to see if it is still working OK. In the meanwhile Mr. Swiss has found his stick, it was in the shower room.

I did not go places yesterday so did not see very much. I was thinking of visiting our local trade fair on its last day today, but now we have again high winds and a grey lid on the sky, so will have to see how it all develops. Wheeling around in a wheelchair is not fun when the weather does not play with you, especially if it rains.

And now to begin my master chef work. I decided today on a Hungarian goulash today for lunh, which is no big deal, but I like to get it cooking early in the morning for lunch time. I have a kilo of onions to prepare so it will be a tearful time. I bought a new supply of paprika so what could possible go wrong.

Everyone have a good day and enjoy. I will be back later with more tales to tell from the Swiss forests where the cows and chickens say hello to each other. It is pansy time again at the local burial grounds.

Pansy 27.09.2018