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Rated: E · Fiction · Family · #2232492
Writer's Cramp
374 words

We've just moved into our new house. It's got a bathroom. No more freezing your way to the bottom of the garden in the middle of the night. And I have my own room. I've left school now and I need to find a job. Dad suggested I go to secretarial school, but I want to start work now.

"Ellen, come and lay the table." Mum is rattling pans in the kitchen. "Dad'll be home for lunch soon. He's only got an hour so we can't keep him waiting."

"What are we having?" I could smell meat. I could also smell cabbage.

"Your Dad's got a lamb chop. We're having cauliflower cheese."

Typical. The man always gets the lion's share because he goes out to work and brings home the money. Why does it have to be like that? "Mum, why can't I do the same job as Dad?"

"That's man's work. The most they would let you do is clean the workshop."

After lunch I spoke to Dad about an apprenticeship. "They don't take girls."

"Has a girl ever applied?"

I walked with my father to the dockyard. I managed to slip in with the crowd and headed to the office block. The man behind the desk looked up from his paperwork.
"What can I do for you, young lady?"

"I want to sign on as an apprentice."

"That's men's work. We might need a cleaner."

I headed for the Ford Hotel. I needed a drink. The door swung open and a body flew out. "Get away with ya, you drunken oaf." The landlord looked at me. "You're not twenty-one. And this is no place for a girl. Get on home with ya."

So much for Nancy Astor standing up for women's rights. I headed home across the marsh. They've laid a footpath across so no more muddy boots. I got to the crossroads and nearly got run over by the number four omnibus. I forget how fast they are compared to the old horse-drawn buses. I am tempted to hop on and head for Devonport or, maybe, Stonehouse. I don't, because I know Mum will worry. A girl alone, unheard of.

"Ellen, can you bring in the washing, it looks like rain."

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