In our house only my mother had a toothbrush, we children cleaned our teeth with soot from the fireplace mixed with bicarbonate of soda - applied with a bit of rag or a finger. If we had no bicarb then it was salt and soot. The washing up was done in Daz or Persil washing powder, and apart from the very rare luxury of a silvikrin sachet (shared between me, my mum and my sister) we usually washed our hair with soap. Toilet paper was the Manchester Evening News; not even nicely cut up, but ripped from the paper that lived on the toilet floor!
If my mum was in arrears with the rent we used to have to hide behind the settee because the rentman would come and peer through the window and call out that he knew we were hiding.
I seem to have spent most of my childhood in a state of permanent embarrassment about the way we lived.
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