he fell into a vat of boiling sugar

When we went to England at the beginning of September, one of the several stops we made was a visit to Gran, a little old lady and The David’s only living grandparent.

We went to dinner with Gran, who had fish and chips.  She described the fish as “snowy white.”  Twice.

Then she made some reference to the war.

And like the awesome American that I am, I said “What war?”

<eye roll at myself from the future>

So then Gran starts to tell me all about how the homes of some of her aunts and uncles had been bombed, so they were all living together in her house.  One of her cousins slept underneath his mom and dad’s bed.  *But why underneath?  Was there no other floor space for him elsewhere in the room?*

She told us about the poor, poor Irish people, like the Kennedys who lived in what sounded like a one room shack attached to the back of their house.  They were Catholic, Gran was careful to point out, and they had 5 children.  Some days, Mrs Kennedy would come around asking if they could spare an egg for Mr Kennedy’s tea.

If that wasn’t pitiful enough – this family of 7, without enough money to keep everyone fed – she told us that Mr Kennedy fell into a vat of boiling sugar at work and she never saw any of them again.

 

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