Oh I used to run past this tree. I was convinced as a child that it was inhabited by a ghost. As part of this terms college work we had to remember some landscape from our childhood and this was what I thought of.
I’ve probably missed out trees and I can’t remember if there were houses in the background. But it will remain with me forever!
I remember a tree that seemed to have a face, and used to scare me when I was a child. There were knot holes where branches had broken off that looked like a face. I remember watching the Wizard of Oz and seeing the wicked witch. For some reason the tree and the witch were linked in my mind. I know I used to walk home through the park sometimes, but I wouldn’t go down that path if it was getting dark.. I also remember walking on the top of an old stone wall, balancing on the top of it, pretending to be a gymnast…. This was over forty years ago. When I look at photos of the park it has a lot more civilised appearance!
I think that’s what this is? It’s a photo I took a our six years ago. It makes me think of grassy banks and hot blue skies, fluttering butterflies and old black poplar trees in a line. Of little dusty paths with small oval pebbles that scatter as you walk. Of running through the fields around our school doing cross country running. Memories of the old rusty fences that enclosed the laying fields. The running track, the hockey fields, the tennis courts, the netball courts. When I think of my old comprehensive school I realise how lucky I was. Memories I haven’t delved into for forty years. I wouldn’t go back but it’s good to remember.
Clackers.. Two balls on a string you waved up and down, with a little ring in the middle. They were meant to bounce off each other top and bottom. Many a broken finger….
Made of hard plastic, some luminous green, other colours too. I remember them being quite heavy. The cord holding them together was made of nylon. The string was tied round the ring at the halfway point. You moved your arm up and down fast, the balls would be sent flying and bounce at the top and bottom of their arc, making the characteristic ‘clacking’ noise. Hence the name.
As with other toys from the 70’s I doubt they would have been approved by health and safety now!
I was thinking of rhymes I learnt as a child, when into my inbox popped an email. It was a pingback saying that someone had shared the poem “the North Wind shall blow”. It had a copyright sign, but it’s not by me! I don’t know it’s origins, but it’s a lovely poem, well crafted, poignant.
Anyway I’ve let them know. In this Internet age, with so much information it is not surprising that things get lost or forgotten. I learned this when I was a child, which is over fifty years ago!
The other ones I remembered today were:
Georgie Porgy pudding and pie,
kissed the girls and made them cry,
when the boys came out to play,
Georgie Porgy ran away.
See saw, Margery Daw
Jenny shall have a new master,
she shall earn but a penny a day,
because she can’t work any faster!
I guess although these will have been written decades, or perhaps centuries ago, they are still relevant today….
When I was a child I used to cook toast-on the gas fire!
I would come home from school and warm up in front of the fire, warming my toes, feet, hands and face. We didn’t have central heating, so only the living room was warm. I was older than my siblings so this was my job. Slices of white bread hooked onto the bars on the front of the gas fire with a metal fork. A few seconds and you turn the bread over. Delicious hot toast and I guess margarine because we couldn’t afford butter. If it was a Sunday I sometimes cooked crumpets. They are like a savoury bread like a muffin but full of holes through the middle of them and at the top of them so when they have butter or margarine spread on them it melts right through the middle of them.
I remember the lovely smells of toast and margarine, together with a hot cup of tea in small cups with orange and brown patterns on them.
This memory was prompted by a question on the Alchemists blog page which asked for memories of being cozy. It’s good to uncover old memories like this.
I remember playing snakes and ladders as a child. The snakes wound round the ladders and if you landed on a snakes head you slithered down and were dumped down to the lower end of the board. It could get very frustrating if it kept happening. Sometimes you got really lucky and climbed a really long ladder.
Can you remember kerplunk? That was a game where you stuck sticks in a plastic tube and filled the it up with marbles. Then you took turns to pull out the sticks and you lost if the marbles fell. We didn’t have that game but one of my friends did and we always asked to play it
One of the most marvellous games was called mousetrap. You built up a complicated marble run out of lots of plastic pieces At the end was a trap to catch your mouse which was a sort of cage that dropped down to catch it. I only saw it once at a friend’s house and I cannot remember how the game worked. Another one was Ludo. Both my partner and myself have vague ideas of how that worked….
My inner child is in there looking out, wishing she could go back to a simpler life when the world was full of learning new things then coming home and playing games. I guess second best is at least being able to remember.
Maybe I will find a second childhood where I can enjoy these games again.