The first 300 words of my autobiography

In response to a Post 40 Bloggers prompt…

Some people would consider that I haven’t had the most exciting of lives, in fact a huge chunk of it could be considered mundane, but I come from a family with an interesting history.

I was born in a room that was used by the local undertaker as a workshop so the week my mother spent “laying in” meant the loss of income for our family.

The house was in a back street slum that was built to cope with the population explosion that turned a tiny village into a big town. The houses were shoved up as opposed to being built carefully and so were never much to begin with. My sister and I were the fourth generation of our family to live there (we moved when I was a baby just before it was pulled down so I have no memories of the house) and it belonged to a cousin by marriage who owned the shop next door.

In those days the family that I was born into was poor though my great grandmother came from a “good” family and had made the mistake of marrying down. Back in the annals of our family history there are mill owners who had servants and the degeneration of the family meant that, at the age of 14, my grandmother became a servant.

My great grandmother and her cousin were raised as sisters and while my great grandmother had 13 children her cousin could not conceive. The family story is that the cousin asked to adopt one of the children and the subsequent refusal caused a big family rift. The cousin’s husband was a man who earned a title for his generosity to the town and yet they allowed my great grandmother and her children to live in poverty.