Jun 09 2012

The Da’s old razer…

Published by at 12:30 am under News

Now every Saturday night in our house us kids got a bath. Because there were so many of us it was more like a sheep-dip. The last one in got a mud-bath. So on Sunday morning the bathroom or the toilet as we called it was free for the Da’ to have his wash and shave. Now this was a ritual of sorts that the Da’ went through every Sunday morning. He’d walk around the house with a towel wrapped around his waist like Ghandi, announcing his intention of commandeering the toilet and if anyone needed to use it then they had better hurry up and do so. Once the Da’ closed the toilet door behind him that was it, then it became his domain for at least an hour.

He’d have his Sunday suit laid out on his bed along with a clean white shirt, underpants, socks, tie and of course his shoes polished like two new pins. This was all a part of the ritual, he was like a Samurai Warrior preparing for battle. He’d approach the toilet like it was some kind of holy shrine, a cleansing of the spirit was about to take place. With the kettle of boiling water in his hand he’d disappear into his kingdom. Then once the door was closed he’d start his chanting in very low tones of humming and whistling. Suddenly he’d start singing at the top of his voice, belting out some old army song or other…‘Bless them all, bless them all, the long and the short and the tall…‘ Then he’d go non stop from one song to another without even taking a breath in between.

On the odd occasion he would allow myself and my brother into the toilet to watch him shaving. Now this was a skillful art of moves and facial expressions. He’d look straight into the little mirror hanging on the wall, turning his face one way and then the other. Then came the shaving mug half filled with hot water. He’d dip his shaving brush into the water and then rub it into his little round bar of shaving soap. And off he’d be singing again as he applied the foamy soap to his face. Then suddenly he’d stop singing and you’d see the look of concentration on his face as he lifted the razor to his chin. Slowly and carefully he’d move the razor across the contours of his face, scalping and chopping off his stubble with no prisoners taken. When he was finished he’d turn on the cold water tap and he’d let out a scream and a roar as the icy water hit his face and ours.

What an education this was for us two little boys. What a great ceremony to witness at such a young age. Well it certainly taught the brother and myself how to shave when we became old enough to do so. But do you know what? I still haven’t got the singing part right. Now maybe it’s the songs I’m singing, I think they should be my Da’s old army songs and not the Beatles…

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