Nowhere better to raise a family
When it comes down to it, us fellas don’t have much going for us, we get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, that’s about it, but the ladies have a whale of a time, once we are sent off to the salt mines, it’s a bit of light dusting, forget the duvets, they sort themselves out, and the cups and cutlery can wait until the evening meals over, then their fun-filled action packed days entertainment begins.
11.00am, coffee and pastries with the girls at Antonio’s, then a saunter over to Madam Lulu’s frock shop, and who can resist a browse in Ponseanby Chumlee & Smyth’s jewellery emporium, all of which require giving the old man’s charge card a good hammering.
Back at base camp, the ladies, now flush with dresses they don’t need, and jewellery that will be worn once, and forgotten, sit and destroy a bottle or three of plonk. By now its 16.00 hours and hubby will be home in hours two, requiring a little more than beans on toast.
OK, all of the above is a bloke’s take on a lady’s of the house average day, or what he thinks happens when he is at his work, the reality is very much different. My other half had to get six boisterous noisy urban terrorists off to school, and cope with several loads of washing, seven beds to make and Fed, watered and dressed they exploded out the front door en-masse and for a few precious minutes, Levy Towers became a oasis of calm and tranquillity, but not for long.
It started with the first load of the washing machine with washing machine loaded it started one of many washes, seven beds to make, tidying up in four bedrooms, a mountain of cups and plates and a forest of cutlery to wash and dry, and as any stressed busy mum will confirm, there are a thousand and one other tasks that are required to keep the family pile in full working order, and while all this is happening, hubby is knocking his pipe out on some God-forgotten hell hole of a construction site, or steel works or a noisy production factory, and when he gets home, maintenance jobs, thanks kids.
The vision of the beaming mother socialising with her friends while hubby is at the office is to some extent a myth, it certainly is in the industrial heartlands of England, the reality is quite different, both husband and wife do their utmost to keep a roof over their families head and one step ahead of the bailiffs. Fast forward twenty years, now retired, with the children all but gone, my wife and I can sit in Antonio’s, and browse in Lulu’s dress shop, and if she wants, a bit of new jewellery, why not, and a pub lunch, maybe a bottle of wine, knowing that the house is spotless, the bills paid, and most importantly, the children have had a good education, and at last are standing on their own two feet, self sufficient, making their way in this terrifyingly un-stable brave new world.
The average Black Country man will move heaven and earth for his family, do whatever it takes, and as a adopted Midlander, and having seen the work practises down south, truthfully, there is no other place on these islands we could have raised a family and succeeded beyond all our expectations.
Tony Levy, ex-Eastender. Wednesfield