Ah wiz talkin tae Arkos the other night and jist rememberin yon cauld times in the High Wall tenements. Nae central heatin fir the High Wall gadgies! We hud a coal fire in the kitchen and that wiz it! If yae wir real lucky yir ma pushed a parrafin heater intae yur room at aboot 8 at night which meant ye smellt like a north sea oil worker and ye wir near passin oot fir the lack o oxygen.
Double glazin in yon days meant that yir windae hud a top part and a bottom part an baith wir made o glass. The inside o oor bedroom windae looked like the photae at the top, on the inside! Ye didnae quite realize jist how cauld it wiz till ye got a deek o yer blue lips and the fact ye couldnae quite grip yir Action Man wi yir frostbitten fingers.
Thir wiz aye jist enough hot water in the mornin fir yir faither tae huv a shave. Efter that it wit cauld water or nowt. Ah wiz like yer Seb Coe o the sink. A full wash in less than a minute withoot gettin the backs oh ma hands wet. Ah used tae imagine that when a went fir a shit in the mornin ye could hear the ice on the lavy breakin as the log crashed through the frozen wastes. But there again maybe ah wiznae imagining it at all.
Ther wiz also a few chores involved wi winter as well. Ye hud tae go up tae the Ironmongers (a name ye dinnae see any mair) wi a red jerry can tae git the parrafin fir the killer heater. It wiz a slog up tae the front street intae the Aladdins cave o the ironmongers. It wiz always dark in the shop and the smell wiz aye o parrafin and wax candles. Wooden floorboards thi creaked as ye walked intae the shop, the ironmonger aye dressed in his brown dustcoat, like the janny used tae wear, baldy heid and roond glesseys. Ah cannae really remember whit else wiz in the shop it all seems tae be jist a dark cloud roond the parrafin fillin station. Mibbie Arkos kin tell us mair.
Anyway off doon the road wi the red can cuttin deep intae yer ungloved cauld hands tae fiil yir lifeline fir the Artic bedroom night.
When ye wir in yir bed noddin off in the parrafin soaked air thir wiz aye the comfortin blue light fi the heater softly lightin up the dark night.
Aye the High Wall winters wir the boys!