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'I had to suffer the comb biting into my scalp until I thought it would bleed. 'better than getting nits' she would say.'
Norma remembers being bathed by her grandmother.
Trinity College Dublin
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Is Part Of
Childhood and Early Life
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Our house was a small terrace house,two up and two down with a tiny garden at the front. We had no hot running water or bathroom. Friday night was bath night. My mum and grandmother carried the big tin bath from the back yard into the livingroom in front of a roaring fire and then the ritual began. First my hair was scrubbed with soft green soap which came in a cardboard box from the chemist. Then it was rinsed in clean water with borax in it,which was supposed to make my hair shine. Then after I had washed my body until it tingled,I put on clean pyjamas and took my place on the floor at my granny's feet. The dreaded fine comb was produced and I had to suffer the comb biting into my scalp until I thought it would bleed. 'better than getting nits ' she would say. The best bit of the night was sitting in front of the roaring fire making toast with a long toasting fork. No health and safety in those days. Delicious with loads of butter.
Irish Research Council for Arts,Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)
Senior Research Associate
Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)
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