“Have you not got the fire on?’
“We’re waiting for the coalman coming around.’
“You had better come in then Alison; I was just about to feed Jeffery. I just left Mickey about ten minutes ago.’ Tom gave me some pies for him to eat for his dinner.’
“Did you not put his bait up for him?’
“What,’ are you kiddin’ he puts his own bait up I’m not doing it.’
“When a man works all day he deserves something to eat Alison.’
“He knows where the cupboards are.’ Have you got any of those pies left I’m starvin’?’
“Wait until I feed Jeffery then I will make us something to eat.’
Shirley went into the kitchen and Scooped five heaped spoons of NDM (National Died Milk) Shirley had also tried Carnation Milk; one part carnation milk to four parts water but it gave Jeffery the diarrhea so she changed to NDM formula and Jeffery had gained weight using it. She had stopped breast feeding because of cracked and sore nipples. Jeffery started to cry because he was hungry.’
“I’m coming darling said Shirley as she cooled the milk under the cold water tap.
She tested it on the soft skin of her arm before bringing it in to feed her baby.
Alison sat and watched as Shirley fed her son. she made no attempt to ask if she wanted any help after Jeffery was fed but sat and allowed Shirley to run around who was changing her son then went on to wash her hands before making a pot of tea and taking out the pies from the oven she served them up for her friend who sat and devoured them in minutes; She drank the tea and sat back whilst Shirley washed up.
Shirley thought that she would have gone after lunch but she stayed. Shirley had washing to do and other house hold chores to do then prepare dinner for Tom coming in.
“Do you want to go out tonight Shirley?’
“We went out last night you cannot expect Tom to look after Jeffery again.’
“Why not’ you look after Jeffery all day long you deserve a break.’
“No Shirley; Tom works hard from four thirty every morning until five at night.’
“Well Mickey is on “The Barrow from seven waiting for delivery of his stuff but he let’s me go out.’
Alison you don’t have child; we have.’
“What about tomorrow after noon then we could go out then.’
“I just cannot drop everything Alison; I have a routine that I follow and I like to stick to it.’
“To hell with routine; if I want to go out I go.’
“Well when you get married you have another person to consider not just yourself.’
If you have kids then your life won’t be your own any more either.’
“Bugger that then I’m not having kids.’
“You’re not getting cold feet are you?’
“No not now I’ve warmed up next to the fire.’
“No not that stupid; I mean about getting married. I mean its fast approaching you know. Please tell me now before I go to the expense of buying a new evening dress.’
“Oh I want to get married alright but I won’t be tied down like you Shirley; Mickey knows the score. I’ve told him if he starts the heavy husband routine with me I will be off. This is 1961 you know Shirl’ not 1921.’
“You are in for a rude awakening Alison I can tell you that; anyway I must get on I cannot sit and talk to you all day.’
“Don’t mind me just do you what you’ve got to do.’
No Alison you go back to your own house.’