When I drew a very grumpy picture of myself today I remembered how much I used to like pulling faces. Then a memory came back to me… I suddenly remembered that I won the funny face competition and my twin won the funny walk competition at a school sports-fun day one year. We won a pound and a half of full cream chocolate! I think we must have practiced a lot, but I’m not sure I knew that this was what the prize was.
It’s funny because I can remember the scene as if it was yesterday now. A group of children on the sports field and kids taking it in turn to make the others laugh. Whoever had the idea was a genius, much more fun than running races. No doubt influenced by ‘Month Pythons Flying Circus’ TV show which was on at the time. (Which I wasn’t allowed to watch because it was too ‘rude).
He came in, soaking wet, plonked himself down without even a cat lick, and went to sleep. This cats not bothered, he just wants a rest after being out all day. I think he’s been mooching, playing in the rain with my other two cats, like a little pride of lions. Sometimes they chase each other up and down the trees. Getting excited and playing at who can climb the highest. Onto shed and house roofs. Then they come in, eat and sleep.
Horse Chestnut leaf today. On a sapling. The leaves are larger than a man’s hand, deeply segmented and split into seven sections. The tree will grow very large and when it starts to flower it will grow large white flowering bracts. Then in the autumn it develops nuts called Conkers. These are encased in a spikey shell that you have to peel off. This is the thing that children make holes through and then use to play the game conkers. Basically each person has one of them. They drill or pierce the nut with a skewer fron the top to the base. It is then threaded onto a string. Two children / people stand opposite each other. One holds up their conker and swings it at the other one. If it hits it can either knock the other conker or split it. If it doesn’t break the other person takes a turn. The conker is called a “one-er” if it survives. Each time it doesn’t break the number goes up, so “two-er” and so on. Some people bake conkers or soak them in vinegar to strengthen them.
So basically when you hear about a game of conkers that’s what it is. The trouble comes when you try and get them off the trees. We have a row of them on the main road. Children throw sticks and stones up at the branches to get them down which can be a hazard if you walk or drive underneath them.
The finals of the Euros is happening and our town is like a ghost town. I snuck a look on line and currently it’s England 1, Italy 1 in the final of the European Cup.
It’s extra time and it’s hard ignoring it. There were roars and cheers outside over an hour ago, then nothing. How can our lives be invested in such a trivial thing? It feels like a tournament in medieval times, a gladiator contest.
So I’m keeping my head down, watching the catch up episode of the Handmaid’s tale by Margaret Attwood and thinking what a strange world this is.
My cats play and chase each other every few hours. It starts with the female cat lying down in front of the male cat, he starts to groom her and they start squabbling, she fends him off as he tries to nip her. They then start chasing each other, sneaking up and Pouncing at each other, racing round the room and up the stairs.
Lately it been a game of “I’m the king of the castle, get down you dirty rascal…” a game that children used to play where you would stand on top of a pile of dirt or maybe rocks and your friends would try and push you off and capture the high ground.
I’ve got a pile of clothes and laundry waiting to go upstairs, but the male cat has taken to sleeping on it. His sister objects and jumps up. A few times she has chased him away, only for him to come back and recapture it! I was going to take a photo of him, but he jumped down so I’ve drawn a cat on it. It does remind me of the game we used to play.
It’s that time of year again, two weeks of tennis on TV. I could sit in a darkened room and watch it all, mens, womens doubles and wheelchair matches. There is a lot of excitement especially towards the end of the tournament and that’s not including the risk of a heavy downpour of rain stopping play.
This year court one has a retractable roof so it offers shelter to players in the same way as the centre court.
Wimbledon can be engrossing, intriguing, spectacular. Human bodies getting bent and stretched into shapes never normally seen in real life. The commentary helps you understand what just happened when tennis balls are travelling across the court faster than you can see.
But I’m getting interested. It’s on in the background. I’ve got things to do. People to see. Switch it off…. In a few minutes, at the end of this game…. This set…. This match….
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.
I’ve been going to Archery now for about 6 months off and on. I thought I would be getting better but struggle with the whole thing somehow.
While my partner shoots bare bow (without sights) and has gradually improved, I feel I’m actually becoming less accurate. He got eight golds last week where I just got 2, and this week I kept missing the boss (the support the paper target is pinned to).
It looks easy, lift up your bow, pull back on the bowstring, look through the sight and let your arrow fly. Watch it wobble in its flight towards, then over, under, to the side of the target…missed again! I try and place myself in the same position each time, holding the bow not too tightly, trying not to pinch my fingers around the knock end of the arrow so it releases from the string smoothly. Place my hand holding the string under my chin with my nose and mouth touching the string. Sight along the arrow using a sight that has a hole with a little dot in it so that it is sighted over the gold. But a tiny deviation where you are is large when you have a target 20 yards away and worse as you get futher away from it.
I’m going to keep trying, I hope I can do it, I will persevere.