George.

George VKing George V, was on the throne the year I was born, to be followed shortly thereafter by HRH Prince David, Prince of Wales, who took the name, Edward VIII.

Luckily he didn’t stay around too long, and we got HRH Prince Albert, Duke of York who as you all know; or at least should, took the name George VI.George VI I don’t intend to get into any discussions on pros & cons, Republic v Constitutional Monarchy. As an Englishman I’m definitely pro Monarchy, as an Australian I’m a staunch Republican.

Needless to say, I had a great deal of time, and respect, for George VI. He was a good, brave man, a worthy King!

Next on my list of Georges is George Formby, a great favourite of mine growing up. When I knew he was going to be on the wireless,     I’d make sure I had the frying pan ready, it was my ukulele, and I’d sing merrily along with George.

It was probably some time in early autumn of 1949, that my dear ol’ dad, brought George home. A somewhat different George to the three mentioned above.

This George was a goose, a nice, snowy  white goose, that my dad thought would make a nice change from chicken, for our Christmas dinner!  George GooseJust needed some fattening up  that was all!

 My mother used to keep chickens, and we always had a good supply of eggs, never had to rely on rationing. When it came to slaughtering the chooks, she did the honours. She had a novel, most unusual way of killing the bird; which I’m loathe to describe.

Naturally, my dad assumed she would have no trouble, when it came to Georges turn to meet his doom. It was not to be!

George became quite a pet to my mother, he would follow her around the back yard, into the house, wherever she went, there went George,  making what ever noise that gooses make 😀

The time came, as it inevitably does, for George to make the ultimate sacrifice. Trouble was my mother couldn’t/wouldn’t kill George. She had no qualms about killing the chooks, but George and she were sort of inseparable, and no way was she about to sacrifice him.

My dad, being a committed socialist, was against capital punishment, insisting that it was my mothers privilege, she being a right wing Tory and all for it.

As an aside, I too, was a right wing Tory back then and followed Albert Pierrepoint’s work with fiendish delight.

With a heavy heart, on Christmas Eve 1949, my mother put a lead on George, and together they walked slowly up Amesbury Road, to the butchers shop, in Hedgemans Road, where my mother with tears flowing, handed George over to the butcher who for the princely sum of half a crown, killed and dressed poor George. 😥

Christmas dinner was not a very joyous occasion, in ’49, in fact it was a disaster. George was duly roasted and appeared on the table. My mother still in tears could not partake of the feast she’d prepared, my father, brother and I made a half-hearted attempt to be in festive spirits, and my five year old sister, was not really aware of the tragedy that had befallen the Smith family, on this Christmas Day 1949.

 George the Goose had his revenge!

A few weeks after Christmas, late January, early February if I recall correctly, the back yard was a mess, we’d had a bit of snow and it had turned to slush. Our recently dearly departed goose, George, was in the habit of dumping his ballast where ever when ever he felt the urge, as a consequence the accumulation had built up, and been buried beneath the snow.

With the thaw, it turned into a slippery slimy mess; and my mother whilst “hanging out the washing on the Seigfried line” (a popular song from the early war  years) slipped and fell; braking her wrist, more precisely the large knobbly  bone on her left wrist.

It was quite a mess, my mothers wrist, not just the yard; she was taken to Oldchurch Hospital over in Romford, and there they had to operate to try and put it back together again.

 Apparently the wireless was on while she was being prepared and the song that was being played stayed with her, and became a kind of favourite for her, and the song?

 

But George’s revenge didn’t end there.

My mother was to be in hospital for a week or more, and it was decided that I was the logical choice to stay home, and be the chief cook and bottle washer.

Sonny, my elder brother was working up in town, and neither he, or my father, could be spared;  anyway they didn’t understand the ration book system that was still in use, and I could catch up on my school work easily; I was being taken out of school at Easter when I turned 15 and sent off to work for a living so it wouldn’t make much difference!  That settled it. 😥

My cooking skills were about to be tested. I had none, the only thing I knew how to cook was sausages, and I could make mash potatoes; so sausage and mash was on the menu every day my mother was in hospital.

It was always ready when my father and brother returned home from a hard days work. Plus I had my 5 year old sister to care for, got her washed and to school, which was easy, the school was directly opposite our front door.

I thought I did very well, seems that I was the only one who thought so. When my mother came home from the hospital, my dad let out a prayer, which was unusual he being an atheist, ” thank Christ your home” said he, ” I don’t think I could eat any more sausage and mash”.

Pretty ungrateful, when I look back on it.

 That was my first experience as a cook! 🙂

Fast forward 25 years or so.

Where is all this rubbish leading?  I’m not hearing you ask 😈

There’s one more George I want you/y’all to meet, as this ramble’s getting a bit long I’ll do two episodes, now isn’t that a big thrill, and something to look forward to. 😛 😮  and a special for my emoji loving chum in Hawai’l  😎

Read on….

 

 

25 thoughts on “George.

  1. You’d think that being royalty they’d have more than one throne for three people. Heck, even this apartment we’re renting has two bathrooms. Oh well.

    Interesting tale but not happy about George’s fate. It seems to me — reading this — that no one really wanted George dead. Plus, what a betrayal that was of a loyal companion, regardless of it’s prodigious capacity for crapping.

    But, I understand. Got quite attached to a few chickens that ended as meals when I was young (back on the boot — and I don’t mean a hood) and it was a traumatic experience for me at that tender age. One of many lessons reminding me the universe basically sucks and humans as a species even more so.

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  2. Hi Bro, Do you know, I do remember the Goose!!! I also remember that he used to like pinching my socks off the line and that we couldn’t eat him! I have quite clear memories of my early years, probably some of the earliest are, going to Queen Eliz.’s wedding and throwing a snowball at next door’s Stanley? And hiding behind one of the bollards in the banjo and giggling. Cheers Caz

    >

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    1. I’m sure you meant Princess Elizabeth’s wedding. Yes you went with your mother, and Sonny and I went by ourselves, do you recall how you mother proceeded up the Mall?
      I don’t recall bollards in the banjo; where were they exactly? I don’t recall next doors Stanley, then again I have very little memories of Ernie Oakes and family excepting that his sister Margery celebrated her 21st birthday on VE Day. All I can remember or the Freaks at No 57 was Mrs F died and our mother laid her out. She was rather fond of laying out the dead for some morbid reason

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  3. You know, Daddy was an adult, and when he and my mother and sister (before I entered the world) visited relatives who kept chickens, and he was given an axe and ordered to kill dinner, he could not do it. He stared at the chicken, and the chicken stared back at him, as so reported to me. He loved animals. He was a large, handsome, masculine fellow with a firm stride and face full of character. But he had a large, loving heart for animals. I was the runt and baby of the family, and he did not mind me, either.

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    1. I have never been able to execute an animal either, I’m just thankful there are those not so squeamish. I don’t think I’d have lived this long as a vegetarian.
      My mother was the killer in our family my dad was like your dad, except he was short in stature but big of heart.

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  4. Indeed we did, and it never occurred again! My sister who was but five at the time remembers it well apparently, her comment is the second one, comments from my sister are rare indeed!

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  5. By George, I think he’s got it!!! 🙂 What a great romp through history. Loved reading it, and yes, especially loved hearing about George the Goose. It brought back two memories: first was when I was about 5 years old, living in California. We raised chickens in the back yard. For food. My father was one of the men living in the huge old house (4 other families) who didn’t mind chopping off their heads. I recall seeing a headless chicken racing around in circles before giving up the ghost. Seemed a horrible thing to do–and made eating the chicken that much more difficult.

    The second memory was when I was about 10 or 11 years old. We lived in Savannah, Georgia, and had received some bunnies as gifts for Easter. They grew up and had baby bunnies. My father built a large wire cage for them, and they lived in the back yard, happy as a lark, and all received names I can’t recall. My sisters and I went to summer camp one year. When we got home, we sat down to a meal of rabbit stew–and heard all about how my father had killed them because we didn’t have enough food in the house or money to buy meat. There was weeping and wailing that night like you wouldn’t believe. I felt totally betrayed, and can’t even remember whether I enjoyed the rabbit stew or not. Probably didn’t. It used to be a common meal item in the South. Along with gray squirrels–full of tiny bones, so a challenge to eat. Not very tasty, either.

    Poor George the Goose. 😦

    Oh, I also remember going to a movie theatre in Savannah (taken by our father, who made a huge exception since movie theatres were dens of sin and iniquity), to see the full film version of your current Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. I still remember it–the most awesome ceremony I’d ever witnessed. I think it was 1952. But I’m not going to look it up…. 🙂

    Elouise

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  6. Elizabeth was anointed and crowned Queen on the 2nd June 1953 at Westminster Abbey. As for awesome ceremonies, we English have a hold on them. Nobody has the history to go with such event, that we have, says he modestly and with a slight blush.
    I think the tale of George the Goose evoked similar memories in others, Leslie(Colonialist) in South Africa (a site well worth following) had something to say on the subject elsewhere.
    I squirm at the thought of eating a squirrel, although in extreme cases of hunger who knows what we’d all do.The only place I can recall seeing these cute little critters running wild. is in Manhattan believe it or not.
    During the war I had a pet rabbit, named Joey, he died of natural causes shortly after the war ended. I wonder if my D.o.D. with the same idea in mind that he had for George.

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      1. That was really interesting it held my attention, I was starting to feel more kindly towards the Americans until I read how the current crop, well since the early 20th century, have been treating these innocent little creatures as pests.
        I suppose now they take the guns out and shoot them, hopefully there are a few who shoot them with a camera, so that future generations of Americans can see what they looked like before being blasted into extinction 😀 😈

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  7. Brian,
    I have now read “George”, Episode I, appropriately on Queen’s Birthday Week-end.
    I do like my sausages and mash, but I am very particular. The sausages must be either English (recipe) pork sausages or beef, with some, but not too much, herbs. The mince within must be chunky – I like the texture. The casing must be gut, not seaweed, so that when the sausage is cooked the skin is crispy. The mash must have oodles of butter, with either sauteed onion or raw shallot and plenty of white pepper. The greens to accompany are, always and nothing but, peas. I prefer green peas, but I don’t mind mushy/windy peas. It is very difficult these days to find the types of sausages I describe above. Gut is never used and the mince is ground so finely, that there is no texture left. Plain pork or beef sausages have mainly been replaced with:
    Chicken & Sweet Corn
    Butter Chicken & Yoghurt
    Plain Chicken
    Thai Chicken Basil & Coconut Cream
    Sweet Chilli Chicken & Mango
    Honey Chicken & macadamia
    Chicken Cheese & Baby spinach
    Chicken Rocket Goat Cheese & Caramelised Onion
    Apricot Chicken
    Chicken & Pear
    Smokey Beef & Bacon
    Beef Spinach & Pine nuts
    Smokey Texan
    Sun Dried Tomato & Basil
    Mexican Nachos
    Spanish Chorizos (Beef and Pork)
    Spicy Italian (Beef & Pork)
    Wild Mushroom & Roasted Garlic
    Steak Roma Tomato & Caramelised Onion
    Preservative Free
    Beef & Garlic Fail Safe
    Beef Chilli & Dark Chocolate
    Beef Hot Shots
    Greek Mykonos
    Beef & Guinness (contains gluten)
    Beef & Leek
    Beef, Vegemite & Cheese
    Beef, Wild Mushroom & Roasted Garlic
    Moroccan Lamb & Raisin (Best Sausage in NSW, supposedly)
    Lamb Mint & Rosemary
    Spicy Lamb
    Honey Lamb & Rosemary
    German Weisswurst (Pork & Veal)
    Pork Leek & Bacon
    Irish Breakfast (Pork)
    Pork Apple & Cinnamon
    French Toulouse Gourmet Sausage
    German Bratwurst
    Sang Choy Bow
    Crocodile
    Emu
    Camel
    Kangaroo
    Boerwors
    Turkey.
    One of the best sausages I ever tasted was once, when the Polish Princess returned from Melbourne, she arrived home with some pork sausages her dear old, now departed, father had made. So I add Polish sausages to my list.
    Neill.
    P.S. The sausage must be thick not thin,

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  8. When I was a kid, my sister and I called our Grandfather George. My sister had looked at a letter and asked who the man was on the stamp. My mother told her it was King George and he had a very similar look, so we called Grandpa George from then on.

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    1. Well thats logical, I assume it was George VI, a bloody good bloke in my book but didn’t look so kingly as his dear ol dad with that beard!.
      Did you get my emails Paol?

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