When I was six months old,
We moved into ramshackle stables. Converted for the homeless by the Coventry City council. And according to my parents, infested with rats and fleas. So my mother sold her piano for Key money (deposit), for a two bedroomed house further down Little Park Street. Number 95 towards the city.
We stayed until I was almost seven years old. But I never used the shred toilet, choosing to scale the wall and use the pub toilet next door. My sister died in the kitchen of 94 Little Park Street, of cot death, and my brother was born in the upstairs bedroom. Life was tough, rationing was still on, and some food was scarce right up to 1952. I never noticed until my brother arrived.
In 1953 we moved to the suburbs, we went to various Catholic schools, I loved. I felt at home at all but one, which was hell on earth. But we were only there a few months as my parents heard we were moving to the suburbs. “School’s out,” said dad. You’re going to a better school, and it was. Like all good Catholics, I made my Holy Communion at 7-years old. Quick to learn, I fast-tracked my Confirmation at 8-years old. The bishop insisted I did. As he said, I answered all the questions with wisdom, clarity and understanding. I loved history, philosophy, people watching, religion and art. I left two oil paintings in the corridors, I was proud of them.