Sunday 14 October 2018

You don't want to end up like the Michaelsons

If my mother or father thought we weren’t

working hard enough, or we weren’t that

bothered or we didn’t appreciate how hard

it all was back in this place they came from

but where we never went, this place called

the ‘East End’, one of them would say,

‘You’ll end up like the Michaelsons.’

Who were the Michaelsons? We never met

the Michaelsons. It didn’t matter. If we weren’t

working hard enough - out it came: ‘You’ll

end up like the Michaelsons’.

‘I’ve never seen poverty like it,’ my mother

said. ‘They had bed bugs. There were bed

bugs in the tenements. The Michaelsons

had bed bugs. That’s how poor they were.’

So we didn’t end up like the Michaelsons.