Pancakes in a Pigsty

She found four happy children covered in mud and also the walls and ceiling of the sty had been redecorated in mud.

Our holiday home was a wooden bungalow on a farm in Hexhamshire. The owners of the farm had two pigsties, one with a pig in it and the other as a playhouse for visiting grandchildren, who I played with when they visited.

I would have been about eight years of age at the time of this particular visit from the grandchildren – who were two sisters and a brother. They decided to make pancakes and the only ingredient available to use was mud. As you can imagine we had a marvellous time using an old frying pan tossing the pancakes as high as we could. That was until their grandmother came to check we were alright, what she found was four happy children covered in mud and also the walls and ceiling of the sty had been redecorated in mud.

As in those days there were no taps, as we have now. It was a case of walking down to the spring, which was halfway down the hill with buckets, to fill with water and returning to the sty. Age was no excuse, I also had to help clean up as I had helped make the mess. As I was the youngest of the group, I found that by the time I reached the top of the hill with my bucket it was no longer full, so a second trip was needed, but it did mean I had wonderfully clean legs and feet.

The downside of our wonderful day was that, after thoroughly scrubbing the pigsty to their grandmother’s satisfaction, we were dumped into a zinc bath of clean cold water dressed in old shirts, having to wait until our own clothing was washed and dried. Never again did we have a pancake day.

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