Now, I was brought up at a time when the female of the species looked after the domestic side of things, while the men went out to earn the bacon.
Anyway, one fine day my mother had exercised the temerity to suggest to my father that he do some washing up; she had been listening to Woman’s Hour on the radio apparently, something to do with women strangling themselves with bra straps, and a woman called Greer telling all her fellow crusaders that it was alright to be a slut after all.
Well, my father, sitting at the kitchen table, smoking and guzzling the pre-supper sherry as usual, had looked up, grunted and carried on reading the evening newspaper.
All women were unhinged, so take no notice appeared to be his response to such an outrageous and ridiculous suggestion.He would have a word with his doc friend later on that evening.
Nothing further was said about my mother’s aborted attempt at equality.
A few days went by, again nothing. All was quiet in the Ruck household until that is, I returned home the following Saturday afternoon. The first thing I noticed was the noise of scraping china as I opened the front door.
How odd I thought?
I pushed the door open rather gently not knowing what on earth was going on, until I eventually enjoyed an uninterrupted view of the somewhat spacious hallway.
And behold…….. the floor everywhere was covered with crockery! Plates, bread plates, fish plates, tureens, cups, saucers you name it. But here’s the best bit, upon further inspection a drop of Heinz tomato ketchup had been carefully placed on every single piece of visible china.
My mother never asked my father to do the washing up again…….she carried on paying the lady who came in ‘to do’ though.