My father's return to civilian life proved somewhat traumatic for all of us. Our domestic routine was quickly reorganised with a program of specified procedures. Each Saturday morning before breakfast, Ringlets and I were lined up for inspection by our very own ex-RSM. Finger nails, backs of hands and knees, ears and back of the neck, teeth; all had to pass hygiene inspection.
Allocated duties for each of us were then read out and pinned to the scullery wall. On completion of each task mother was required to make inspection and initial the listing if satisfied. She always was. My weekly duties primarily concerned blacking the grate, cleaning all windows, red leading the front doorstep, and hoovering all rooms. Daily duties involved fire lighting (when directed), emptying of rubbish, and any grocery errands.
No personal free time was allowed until completion of allocated tasks. This was not a democratic environment and suggestions were not welcomed. On one celebrated occasion, whilst hoovering under the heavy carpet in the 'best' room, I discovered a small folded piece of blue note paper. On it in my father's handwriting (copyplate - the Christian Brothers) was the statement "You have not cleaned this room".
Later that day when asked whether all duties had been completed, I confirmed that they had. Authority replied that he could prove that they had not. At this point Ringlet's thumb went into her mouth. The family trooped into the 'best' room.
Under precise instructions, I moved the table and lifted the carpet to reveal the folded blue notepaper. I was then required to pick up the paper and read its contents out loud. The notepaper now contained, in my less acceptable handwriting (joined up - Holbrooks Primary) the words "Yes I have".
To protect the sensibilities of anyone with of delicate disposition, subsequent moments are not recorded.