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Every Saturday, we’d go to see my nana
in her paisley pattern pinny
and my gan-gan,
and for years I never knew
why it smelled the way it did
round Leach Street -
the brewery sparging hops & malt
an unfamiliar smell to a child -
& it was a different world round there,
the cobbled streets clattering
to the milkman’s dray pulled by a donkey.
 and Atlas mill,
a vision of hell
with blackened faces inside -
all noise & sparks & smoke & white hot iron;
with the butchers opposite - the two halves of a cow
cleft down the middle, hanging there
with kidneys still embedded
dripping blood on the sawdust floor.
The chip shop fish & chips
done in beef dripping
- and my, they were good,
devoured from yesterday’s news,
and drenched in salt & vinegar.
Then gan-gan turning the corner
down the end of the street and I’d run full tilt to him
& I’d sit on his knee as we sat on the doorstep
watching the world go by,
as he rubbed his baccy & filled a pipe
and a pint of tea waited patiently
there in a blue & white striped mug.
My, how things have changed,
and in the blink of an eye
or so it seems. 

◄ Murder, she croaked

whispers ►


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Mon 24th Jan 2011 20:58

Thanks Folks!
Stef - "the gone people" returns 827 hits in Blogs - any more clues ??
It didn't smell bad round Leach st Stella - just odd. I've wondered since if that is why it was even named that, as Leach is the same meaning as Sparge (magee marshalls brewery -hops & barley, thats all).
Ann - you're dead right. If I told kids of today that our milk was delivered by a donkey they'd think I was taking the P***.
If our world has changed so much in fifty years, I cant help but wonder what the next 50 holds ?

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Ann Foxglove

Mon 24th Jan 2011 07:33

I like this a lot. I wonder if "the kids of today" (god I sound like grandma Moses - or Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells) will have the same memories of their grandparents. We're all so young and trendy now in our old age aren't we - no paisley pinnies or teasing out your baccy on the doorstep. It would be salsa classes and cruises and line dancing. Better really I guess, but now the generations blur, will the memories blur too? Just a thought. And I'm not a grandma yet, tho old enough! xx

stella jones

Sun 23rd Jan 2011 22:13

Not knowing why it smelt so bad round Leach Street is a great opener that led onto a fine write that held me nit may be that i dont think you need the last three lines, rather like the thought of you ending on the blue and white striped mug..just personal thoughts tho..super stuff.

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Patricia and Stefan Wilde

Sun 23rd Jan 2011 21:06

a touch of the 'Saturday nights and sunday mornings'..I can just picture Albert Finney walking through the imagined scenery of your words...and how very much I can relate to 'gan-gan'..sniff have a peep at my simpler version...'the gone people'..ta

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kealan coady

Sun 23rd Jan 2011 15:07

Excellent stuff man theres a real conduct to it. Organized misery in the face of time. I really like it and I appreciate its truth: Time is a regression of itself.

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