Jun 17 2014

Monday Blues in Cabra West…

Published by at 8:50 pm under News

I remember skiving off school one Monday morning in the mid 1950s pretending I was sick. The Ma’ said ‘You’ll have to stay in bed, I don’t want you under my feet all day. I’ve enough to be doing’. And so she had. You see Monday in our house was wash day and we didn’t have a washing machine at the time. Everything went into the bath upstairs, all our shirts that we hadn’t changed from one Sunday to the next with all the blood spots from the hoppers on the collars. There was no underpants because we didn’t wear any back then. And the Da’s good Ganzy that he always wore to Mass on Sunday morning was a favourite to go in. There was bed sheets and blankets galore and loads of clothes belonging tot he sisters as well. And the poor Ma’ going up and down the stairs all morning with buckets and kettles of boiling water. Then she’d take off her shoes and climb in with the washing, trampling it with her feet to try and get the dirt out. Sometimes if we were around she’d get us to do that while she was busy elsewhere.

Then everything had to go through the rollers that was kept in the back yard. There was water everywhere and the Ma’ would be soaked to the skin from it. And don’t forget all those wet clothes had to be brought down from upstairs with the water dripping all over the place. I remember one time in the winter the Ma’s hands were so blue from the cold that she couldn’t manage to open the pegs and she roaring at us to come out and help her. Sure there was no drying either unless the sun was shining and that wasn’t very often. And as well as all this going on she had to go up to the shops for her messages and then start the dinner for us coming in from school. Then when all the washing was done the Ma’ would mop the floors and put newspapers down to help dry it all out.

Weren’t the oul Mammies great all the same and didn’t they teach us great principles and manners? Sure where would we be without them all the same…

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