Muriel stood with her mother in the church as the reverend Alan Young gave the sermon. Today the reverend talked about faith and how if you believed in God the father then you would receive eternal life. She Prayed for Gods help so she could change and make a better life for herself. Then she asked herself was she being self righteous and was she wrong in asking God to make life better for herself. Everyone deserves a chance in life she thought. She would let God decide for her; if it was meant to be it was meant to be.’ The reverend prayed for the family of Desmond McDonald who had lost his life in the shipyard only yesterday. Helen McDonald stood with her four sons and two daughters wiping the tears from her eyes as the reverend spoke. She wore the black widows weeds and those around her put a comforting arm around her shoulders knowing how hard it was going to be for a woman over fifty to support a family on her own. The best years were now behind her and it would be hard for her to find a man as good as Des.
On the way home Muriel posted her letter to her Aunt Ester in Coventry.’
After church on Sunday the men all left their women and went to the bar; whilst they got on making Sunday lunch. It was the one meal in the week when a roast would come out of the oven. Everyone looked forward to a piece of roasted beef; with home made Yorkshire puddings, vegetables, and gravy made from the meat juices.
Then there was a pudding too; usually it was home made rice pudding.
Muriel helped peel the vegetables and put them on the stove once they had been cut up and then washed under the cold tap several times. Her mother basted the roast joint and the smell that came from it had Muriel salivating. Her stomach gave a little grumble in anticipation of the meal. The plates were warmed on the range and the table set for when the men would return at three fifteen on the dot. It was then that the dinner would be served and not before.
Whilst they waited for the men to return both Muriel and her mother washed the men’s shirts for work the next morning the flat irons were put on the hot plate and a bowl of water ready with some starch ready to iron them once they were dry.
The yard was washed and then swilled and the back lane washed by all in the street. The smell of urine was strong because many a man had been caught short coming home from the pub and used the wall as a urinal.
Ina Jenkins passed a remark as she swilled the wall to her house. “The dorty buggers wouldn’t be so keen to piss up my wall if they had to wash it every week.’
Aye these men get off lightly don’t they remarked Ann Clay.’
“My man works damned hard said Annabella; he’s entitled to go and let off a bit of steam and you all should be grateful that you have one; look at poor Helen McDonald doon the street, she has got no man to look after her now.’ Annabella went inside and closed her back door. She then took out the ironing board and set about ironing the three shirts. After which Muriel ironed her blouse for work. The potatoes were then mashed with a little butter and milk and the roast potatoes given on final basting along with the meat. Annabella took out the big mixing bowl and added flour and an egg to make the Yorkshire puddings she whisked away to get as much air into the mixture as Muriel took out a baking tray from the oven that was smoking hot and the Yorkshire Pudding mix added quickly to the tray then placed back inside the oven.
It was now three o’clock and it wouldn’t be long before the men would be back.
Muriel set the table with glasses and bone handled knives and forks. The table spoons were large and were place at the top of each knife and fork a folded tee towel served