The Living

20160330_063034.jpgFour scenes in one act

Scene 1                     Steven, living away for the first time, writes home

Dear Mum,

Just a short line __ (agh, ho, ho!) to let you know how I’m getting on…starving, freezing, moneyless; you know, the usual student life. But, you know me, I don’t like to complain. I’ll pull through somehow. You carry on living in the lap of luxury. Don’t spare me a thought – your miserable, impoverished, emaciated only son. I understand that you must have a great many problems, including our Kay’s weight problem, all far more important than my plight, your only son’s misery. Still, I expect I’ll manage somehow!

Enough of my problems, the neverending, day to day struggle against all odds to get the meagre things necessary for my meagre existence. How’s life at the ranch? I’ve told everyone my dad’s a millionaire with his money in stocks and shares and unforgettable hidey-holes. And mum, even though I don’t often know where my next meal is coming from, I’ll do all I can, everything in my power, to stop our Kay running away with Thomas Blakeney. It would break Lyndsay’s heart, my beautiful, devoted, wonderful sister – yuk, did I say that? Yuky, yuky, yuk.

For some reason, which no doubt he’ll tell us when he gets back tomorrow night, my house mate, Jeff, never quite made it home, so I don’t know if he’s a dad or not. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on any new developments.

Have to dash now, otherwise my egg – that’s my tea for tonight – will be hardboiled. God, I hope I can pull through.

Your everloving, dashingly handsome, if perhaps a little on the skinny side (unique in our family) son,



Scene 2                     a reply

Dear Steve,

…a few pounds to put you over and don’t ask me for anymore. I haven’t got it. Your dad’s got me up the wall, paying his debts. Good job he was getting, we’ve never had it so bad. I get £10.40 for cleaning.



Sorry if I sound hard but I’m fed up trying to make ends meet. Also Lyndsay, Kay are still at school and I only get their family allowance. That’s it.

I can’t ask anyone for money. I just have to make ends meet. A holiday, I wouldn’t know what one is.

Ps let me know if you get the money.


Scene 3

Dear Steven,

Received your letter today. Glad you got the money okay. Sorry if I sound like a moaning mum, but you know if I have the money you’re welcome to it, but I get so mad with your dad. He talks so big at times. He changed his job. Oh, we were going to have everything. Instead, he gets less than he was on before, but I have heard so  many promises over the last 29 years, that it’s a good job I take it as I have always done. I’m working 6 hours a week in a shoe shop. Also I do a few hours Wed, Fri, selling shoes, which helps. Don’t say nothing to your dad but I get sick of paying his debts and he just takes it for granted. It makes you mad at times, Steve, but, never mind, I seem to get over it.

Kay gets her ‘O’-level results today. She did well in her CSEs. Lyndsay is still in the shop on a Saturday and Kay does Sat afternoon. She gets £3 for it.

We are all looking forward to seeing you. Look after yourself, son.

All my love,


Hope you got the card okay.


Scene 4                     approaching Christmas

Dear Steven

In answer to your most welcome letter, both of them, I’m sorry, son, for not answering sooner. You should have had two letters off Lyndsay by now. You know what I’m like at writing. Anyway, son, how are you getting on? You never said anything about your job. Make sure you are eating well and look after yourself. Are you coming home for Christmas? I am still working 3 mornings a week in the shop. I have your jumper. It’s blue and I think you will like it. Well, Steve, I am feeling okay now, after a few off days with my tum. Well, son, you seem to be enjoying yourself. I am glad you have got a place. Is it very dear, the rent, I mean? Keep your feet warm at night. Put a pullover around them and they will keep warm at night. We will have to get you some bed socks for you.

Today, 15 November, your dad hadn’t been to work for the last 2 weeks. He’s okay. The doctor gave him  bottle for that wind he gets, so I don’t know if he is going in next week or not. I can’t get any work done. You know how he hates getting out of his chair. Lyndsay told him to get back to work but I told her to say nothing but you know Lyndsay. Well, Steve, you know I told you about my little job. Well, the manager had a breakdown last year. Well, he came back 2 weeks ago. I was made up because we got on great, but he had to go to see the head manager last Friday week and, when he came back, he said he was moving to a small shop in Old Swan. He asked me if any work came up, would I go to work over there on the sales, 10 till 3.30. I said yes but as it’s only a small shop…they only have 2 and a Saturday girl, so I just wait and see but I can’t see any of them leaving. Anyway, Steve, we have a manageress, and she is a cow. She is okay with me. Not that she opens her mouth much, only to find fault with the woman, so Gill and the boy, who works there can’t have a laugh. The boy who works there got the push last Thursday and he hasn’t been in yet. I told him to join the union but he hadn’t but I think his dad is looking into it. I would, but then you know me.

Anyway, son, I told you about work and everything’s about the same at home. Your dad is in bed. It’s 10.40 am. I will hear his feet go bang on the floor any minute for his tea, but I am going up Moss Lane now to post this letter. Hope you understand it. I can’t, ha, ha! Never know, Steve, your dad might do some work in the house or garden. That would be the day. He moans all day about money. I tell him, as long as we live, he should shut up. He…I go mad.

(Well. Forgot my Well) Son, will close now. Look after yourself for me.

All my love,



2 thoughts on “The Living

  1. Real live letter from Tim at University.
    ‘Hello mum’,
    Thanks for your letter.
    It’s Sunday, so I haven’t got any lectures. I expect you are eating a nice big roast Sunday Dinner. I’ve got bean on crumb.
    See you soon,
    Love Tim

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