Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Wednesday 2nd September

I'm in my element here this afternoon.  Playing through the speakers is Disc One of Cliff Richard's Platinum Collection.  I put it on in the first place as a cheer-you-up for a friend I was emailing.  Yes, I know she couldn't really hear it - in fact, I'm not even sure if she likes the delectable Cliff - but I do so I've just put on Disc 2.  "Wind me up and let me go", a very apt start for an afternoon of blogging!

Talking yesterday about starting school got me to thinking about some of the games we used to play, specially in the playground.  One I didn't like much was "Pinch or Punch" and yes, it was painful!  Two kids would join hands   and swoop across the playground to catch some poor unsuspecting in the centre of their linked hands and recite "A pinch or a punch or join in the bunch, or tell us your sweetheart's name, or a penny stamp".  If he had any sense at all the poor victim would say "Join in the bunch" and he would make the circle a bit bigger by joining the other two.  This would go on with an ever increasing circle swooping on more and more kids who hadn't the sense to run for cover!  The game ended when either every kid in the playground was in the circle or the bell went for classes..

Skipping was much in evidence in the 50's.  It must have been for decades before too because my mum was brilliant at it.  She was always so light on her feet.  I on the other hand had no 'bounce' in me so I didn't bother.  Any old length of rope would do or a bit of washing line.  Someone could usually be relied on to have purloined the whole washing line on the way down the garden path in the morning so there would be a girl at each end (boys didn't skip) who were 'turners', a chant was decided upon and any girl who wanted to have a skip formed an orderley queue.  Girls #1 and 2 would start off as the turners turned the rope and everybody chanted "Nanny in the kitchen, Doin' a bit of stitchin', In came a bogey man and pushed nanny OUT" and the next girl in line would jump into the turning rope, shove #1 out and continue . .  Great fun I'm sure..

Girls never minded showing their knickers in those days and there was no such thing as the perv at the school gates so doing handstands against the staff-room wall was quite OK.  Two Ball was another favourite, and a way of putting to good use those tennis balls that would otherwise have joined the racquets in the cupboard under the satairs once Wimbledon fortnight was over.  It was sort of juggling but you 'juggled' your two tennis balls against a wall.

We were quite inventive playing at home too, so the odd  rainy day didn't matter.  Most little boys had a cowboy outfit, including a toy gun which it never occurred to anyone might corrupt them.  here's many a family goldfish bit the dust several times a day during school holidays.  The chair arms became horses which could put Trigger to shame, they could run so fast!.  Lone Ranger masks and silver bullets abounded.

When mum wasn't using the clothes horse, a wooden frame that she would put laundry either to dry on a wet day or to 'air' after ironing, it became a tent when we covered it with an old grey army blanket and we played at camping.  Or it might become a Tepee and be where Tonto lived with Hiawatha (Yep!) until the Lone Ranger would come nodding along on Silver (suspiciously like the yard brush) and off they would go on some errand of mercy.  Poor Tonto always had to take his shoes off before he got on his yard brush  because of course Tonto's horse didn't have shoes.  Oh I am sorry if anyone is finding all this a bit too non-PC,, but it's how it was

The Furniture in our house. being quite old and big lent itself perfectly to being hid behind, under or in as we played hide and seek.  We didn't always play nicely.  There was sbling rivalry along the lines of "I hate our Ken, he won't let me have a go on Silver...".   Mum would put up with this bickering for so long then confiscate the yard brush saying "For goodness sake, it's a white thoroughbred, not a seaside donkey!"  So even she was carried along by it really!

Mothers and Fathers, Dressing Up, Schools, Lady Baby Gypsy Queen, - all good fun and there were many more.  Books and comics to read, things to learn, people to talk to - and no daytime telly or videos or DVD's or computers and not many telephones.  Happy days!

 YAY!  I'm in the right place!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Those were such happy times for you and for me too. Life was so much simpler then. I look at my children with their children and it seems they fly through life. I wonder how it will be for my great grands. Never played the pinch or punch and am sorta glad I didn't for sure.

GrandmaK said...

Yes, indeed, those were special times!!! We did have fun at make believe as children! Cathy

Grammy Staffy said...

What Angie??? What did you say??
I am trying to hear you but I've got the Cilff Richards album playing too loudly in my head..... just a min.... I'll turn it down...

That's better... now I can hear you.
What a delightful post. Fun stuff from days gone by. Thanks for the nice walk down memory lane.
I hope that all is well with you. I send love, Lura

Andy said...

Feeling quite nostalgig reading your last two entries. Such happy carefree days. I suppose life has progressed since than or has it?

joolzmac said...

Hi Angie

In Australia, back in the early 70's, our school yard games included swinging on the monkey bars, hopscotch, handball, knucklebones (jacks), marbles, skipping ropes (double dutch, salt & pepper), elastics, red rover all over, chasey etc.
I had a set of authentic lamb knucklebones (I'm sure you did too)that mum boiled and boiled to get clean then they were died with food colouring. Fun times indeed.

Cheers - Joolz

StitchinByTheLake said...

Angie you brought back such wonderful memories for me! I was a champion at jacks and also at jump rope but couldn't play kick ball worth a plug nickel! blessings, marlene

Marie said...

Angie, how did I miss this??? I don't know, but am glad I caught up with it now. I love Cliff Richard. I had a mad crush on him back in the 60's and early 70's. Did you ever see that film he did called "Two a Penny." I think it was probably his first serious roll after he bacame Born again. I Loved that film and would love to see it again. WE used to play games in the school yard such as Chinese Jump rope and Double Dutch skipping, and then of course there were our wonderful Indian Rubber balls, hard as rocks but could they bounce!! In the spring it was marbles and baseball, and in the winter skating. Those were the days. Loved reading about all your childhood schoolyard games. Boy, wouldn't the health and safety people have had a field day back when we were young? xxoo