Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Flat 3/block 17 circa 1973

I didn't intend my blog to be autobiographical but sometimes it is inevitable that to appreciate the comment you have to share in the context.
I was going to blog today about a beautiful City I went to on New Year's Eve and it got me thinking about how far I had come not just geographically but in so many other ways from my childhood. In terms of miles - in the UK, with the exception of my time at university, I lived within a 15 mile radius of where I grew up. By the time I had moved 15 miles away I felt a million miles from where I had come from. I didn't have to move the the USA to see that.
I often say or imply in the blogs 'you can take the girl out of King's Norton but you cant take King's Norton out of the girl!' This would only add a dimension to the blog if you knew about King's Norton. It was a place of two halves divided by the Redditch Road which ended at 'The Green' - a Medieval village green (dating back to Domesday), beautiful Church and one of the oldest (if not the oldest) school buildings in Britain, restored after winning an National TV competition. One side of the road had beautiful private detached houses and manicured gardens. My school friends who lived there had piano lessons and ponies and their parents owned cars and read the broadsheet press. I didn't live that side of the road but appreciated the view.
We lived quite a way from the Redditch Road and The Green on the second floor of a 3 story block of flats, 2 flats on each floor. There were around 7 blocks in the Grove and maisonettes and a few houses. All were council owned. A while ago I wrote a silly little poem about me as a 6 year old (ish). It gives an essence of where (or perhaps how) I spent the first 9 years of my life.

Flat 3/block 17 circa 1973
‘You mean little bastards’ sneered Mrs Bird from no. 1
‘Trying to poison me with old cake’
The 100’s and 1000’s we’d lovingly added looked like mould
Vile old woman, it was her mistake

‘You dirty little bastards’ cried June from No. 5
She kicked what she thought was a brick
We had howled with laughter
We knew it was shit!

‘You white trash little bastards’ tutted Lulu from no.2
Her son kicked our shins til they bled
All for calling him ‘little black sambo’
We cried, wondering what was wrong with what we said.

‘You cruel little bastards’ screamed Jean at no. 6
whilst hugging her ginger retarded son
How did we know calling him names and chasing him
Wasn’t his idea of fun?

‘Come here my darlings’ called our mom
We asked what we were having for tea
Her usual responses were ‘Run round the table and see how far it is’
And ‘Shit with Egg on’. A veritable feast at no.3


  1. Happy days,Yes there were some lovely parts in KIngs Norton. LOved the poem. I remember Lulu well and we did have other things for tea.

  2. laugh - I nearly wet myself- brilliant xxx Deb.S

  3. What a great poem of glory living in a block of flat! Childhood is obviously the most creative period of life:)