Getting back to Roddy Doyle... many of his stories make me think of my own childhood and life at home with four older brothers. Let me show you:
Brother Robin (4th boy). And then, there's me, as you know:
What always cracks me up about these old photos are our hair styles and the clothes we wore. Mam knitted almost every jumper that ever graced our tiny backs. They were usually bright colours, so that she could '...spot 'em in a crowd...' as she would say. They lasted for decades and were worn by all of us (and others in between). Usually, the pants were too large, hence the belts and / or braces holding them up, way above our waists. Gotta love the high waists!
Don't we all look like butter wouldn't melt in our mouths? Don't be fooled; - each and every angelic child you see above was once a gang leader in our Midlands neighbourhood. The Mods, The Troggs, The Dogs, The Bovver Boys, The Skinheads, The Slapheads, The Scrappers (in no particular order). Mostly, though, we were known (and feared) by our surname, and on any given day, in alley ways and entry ways, down streets with either terraced houses, semi or detached and even on the new estates, you could hear local kids shout out to their mams, in somewhat high-pitched, anxiety filled voices:
"Mam, mam! It's the Hudsons!"