JOURNAL OF A LIFE – Come In, Welcome, Make Yourself At Home

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As a great mentor of mine –¬†Joe Schroeder – never tired of saying “A Life Worth Living is a Life Worth Recording

so today I am here to share another episode in the life’s journey of one of the great people whose life I am privileged to have shared a part of – my mother AnneKaete Pocklington.

The War Is Over –¬†Come In, Welcome, Make Yourself At Home

“But could you, dear God, possibly see your way to let us three, Bill, Peter and me, just quietly die somehow”

Thank God, God know best!

Read On…

Come In, Welcome, Make Yourself At Home

The door of the Cottage was in two parts, top and bottom, with a Catch rather than a door-handle.¬†You went through and a very well scrubbed floor with large stone flags took your feet The ceiling¬†very low with Beams. A large heavy table in the middle, a sofa on the right, under the window, a¬†large chest of Drawers, some wood chairs and a ‚ÄúCaptain’s Chair‚ÄĚ in front of the fire.

A creel under the ceiling near the fire . A creel is a contraption with about 5 or 6 long pieces of¬†Wood on a coathanger like iron frame on each end. This could be let down because a line ran¬†over small pulley wheels above the coathangers’ in the ceiling. One let this down, placed the¬†washing over the woodbars, to dry or air off, pulled it up again and there it would hang, under the¬†ceiling, and dry, air, or get very black again if you had a blow back from the open fire, which¬†happened quite frequently.

The Fire was a ‚ÄėYorkist’ Fireplace, which was shiny blackleaded cast iron. In the middle of the¬†fire, was a plate-like round thing on a Pivot, which one could turn onto the fire, place a kettle on it¬†for boiling, or cooking, frying, of course . All the cooking was done on this fire. To the left of the¬†Fire a Square lid which revealed water when opened by lifting the lid off. This was a water storage¬†tank where one had always warm water available which one ladled out with a Ladle or watering¬†can. On the opposite side of the actual firehole the oven. A large door would open and there one¬†baked, cooked one’s meat, made Yorkshire Pudding etc. This fireplace had a Fender around the¬†hearth, sometimes wooden, sometimes made of brass as I would find out later. And a shelf¬†above, called the Mantelpiece. A little line in front would hold towels and things. Through this¬†room, a door led to the little very dark staircase to the upstairs, and the three smallish, very low ceiling¬†bedrooms. Another room downstairs led into the Parlour. A smallish room about the size¬†of the biggest bedroom upstairs, with a fireplace without cooking facility. Just the open firegrate¬†with a light painted iron surround. A few pieces of furniture, a bed (put up for us) and a brown¬†linoleum, and a few pictures on the wall completed that room.

Another door from the ‚Äúkitchen-cum-livingroom‚ÄĚ led into the back kitchen. “Kitchen” was the¬†overstatement of the year. It was a small alcove like room with the tiniest of chest-of-drawers or¬†table, a water tap near the floor with a grate beneath it to let the water out, which might be¬†dripping all day. A white enamel bowl hanging on the whitewashed wall was for washing oneself¬†in the mornings. Another one like it was for washing up etc. A door out led into the Garden, a¬†small piece of greenery full of growing Cabbages, Cauliflower‚Äôs, Onions etc. A row of stepping¬†stones through this led to the Lavatory, Toilet, little room, name it what you will. It was a wooden¬†seat with a hole in it, and a rough wooden lid on, and it was emptied by the authority from the back¬†about once a month. A nail with squares of newspapers was for the use of ‚Ķ‚Ķ.

There was no electric light in the Cottage, one went to bed with a candle, but in the kitchen in the evening two brass oil lamps were lit. Very beautiful lamps, but smelly, and one had to handle them very carefully lest the glass tube, around the flame, broke.

No light, no proper sink, never mind a washbasin, no Toilet, and the cooking all done on this open fire. With the cooking pans all very permanently black with thick soot on the outside.

We made some room on the left of the fireplace to stand the Pram, my Pram, with my six months old Baby in it. My Baby who had all white clothing, and dainty light covers on his pram. And who had permanently cold hands now, and a runny nose, and who always was full of black soot spots, on himself and his lovely clothing, it was all so very heartbreaking.

Please God, forgive me I kept saying every day, I am grateful, the people here are so very, very¬†kind and loving, I should not mind the material things, please forgive me for being ungrateful. “But¬†could you, dear God, possible see it in your way to let us three, Bill, Peter and myself, just quietly¬†die somehow. Without hurting anybody, just let us go to sleep, quietly and gently, all three, if you¬†possible can, dear God, because, because, there does seem to be no other way out.‚ÄĚ

The countryside was so beautiful and the people all so very very kind

Oh God!


If ¬†life is the best teacher, doesn’t it make sense to learn from the lives of others?

So what did I learn from today’s episode?

I learned that whenever I say to myself “times are tough” I have no idea compared to what my parents lived through,¬†and

I learned to not take indoor plumbing so much for granted..

So Now it’s YOUR turn, dear Reader. What did YOU learn?

Please ADD and SHARE your insights in the COMMENT BOX Below




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Published: September 10, 2014, 01:23 | 2 Comments on JOURNAL OF A LIFE – Come In, Welcome, Make Yourself At Home
Category: Real People Helping Real People, The Story Of A Life

2 responses to “JOURNAL OF A LIFE – Come In, Welcome, Make Yourself At Home”

  1. I had tears reading this…especially at the end…please keep sharing Peter…I’m hooked!

    • freedomwithpeter says:

      Lisa, I still well up when I read, and feel for, what my Mum, especially, but also my Dad whose love will have felt her pain, had to go through. And yet, she always says, it was nothing special. War uprooted so many, and all have their STORY. ty, ty, ty for your continued support of the cause – to recognize that the lives of ordinary people are HIS-STORY, HER-STORY and HISTORY. prp

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