Sunday, January 17, 2010

The big house on the hill

This weeks prompt at Sunday Scribblings is The Good Old Days

A stately red brick pile stood magnificently amid a brick walled garden. Log fires crackled and blazed, and tables groaned with food and sparkling crystal decanters of ruby wine. Maids and servants fetched and carried. Butlers moved silently and discreetly about their business .Soon it would be time for the winter ball, when every room in the house would echoe with the sound of laughter and merry music.
Each morning the footmen prepared a coach and four for the master of the house in readiness for his daily trip to his factory. He would walk between the clanging and crashing machines, a handkerchief to his face, and his loyal workers would stop for a second as he passed and tug a forelock of hair.
The days were good back then.
***
The winter wind whistled through cracks in the crumbling walls and broken windows. Five scruffy urchins played in the dust on the floor as their mother, large with child, struggled with what little food she had with which to feed her family. Hopefully her husband would catch enough rats today to earn a shilling to buy some more food tomorrow.
Last week one of their children died. They couldn’t afford a doctor or his medicine. She was buried in a tiny pauper’s gravemarked with a small cross of twigs.
Soon their eldest son would be six years old and strong enough to climb inside and sweep the chimneys of the big house on the hill.
The days were dark back then.



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14 comments:

  1. Two very different views - nicely done.

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  2. Excellent. The good old days were not always so good, were they?

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  3. Great comparison of different levels of wealth and class. Alas, I fear that the same differences happen today. I have worked with the homeless and the hopeless. I hope that in "The New Good Days" the disparity - or at least SOME of the disparity will be lessened

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  4. the divide, so vividly portrayed with the two ways of life in parallel.

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  5. interesting. nice post. you always poke me in the thought department.

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  6. I never did catch rats that day!

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  7. I was so in agreement with you about the first that your second caught me totally unaware. There are always two sides to a story, two possibilities...it just depends which way the penny falls.
    Wonderful! My new SS is up too.

    Thank you for commenting yesterday- I was glad to see you there. I hope you'll visit again. You inspire me to write.
    Bella :)

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  8. Yeah, took a minute for the penny to drop, but yeah, there's two sides to every coin.

    Well thought out!

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  9. There are always two sides to the story. Your piece clearly illustrated the ugliness of the past. Hopefully the factory workers and the rat catcher's family had some good things to remember in their lives too.

    A great thought provoking piece.

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  10. you have done it again. but one Q.
    was it really dark ? or is it darker now?

    Good Ol' Days'

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  11. I always see both sides too Keith, Yesterday I felt bad because I saw a woman and her son with a shopping trolley with their bedding in it and wondered about their story and where they would sleep the night.The good old days are still coming up for some eh.

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  12. Sad. The good ol' days weren't good for some.

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  13. Just wanted to leave a thank you note for visiting This Blog Of Mine and say thanks for the comments on a camera special to me it was great.


    Thanks Again


    Larry

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