Posts Tagged ‘playing’


One of my favourite and most enduring childhood memories is of the long summer holidays. They couldn’t come quick enough and seem to last forever. The summer of 1976 is one that sticks in my mind as it was also the first time I had experienced a heatwave. The skies had been crystal clear blue since May that year and we couldn’t wait to finish school and be free from the classroom and play out and enjoy ourselves. Every day was a special day that year as we played football, went down the valley and messed about on my mates, dads truck. We were happy and carefree and had no idea of what life had in store for us. It was all about living in the moment and enjoying every moment. On one particular day my brother had come home from the army and everyone lost track of time. It was at least 10pm if not later before my mum realised I was still out and called me in to go to bed. Other years whilst not as warm were as long and as happy. The innocence of youth providing a protective barrier for all of us from the pain that life can sometimes bring and providing us with day after day of pure childlike pleasure. They were happy times, good times and I’d go back to them in a flash to relive them over and over again before the storm clouds arrived and it was back to school and the reality of life.


It’s September 1976 and the start of a new school year at a new school, Holme Middle. It’s further away than Holmefield First but not by much and I enjoy walking to and from school. Some of my friends from Holmefield First have gone to different schools and I will never see them again, but I make new friends here playing games in the school yard and in lessons. It’s a great start to a new chapter in my life, one without any cares, worries or stresses, one where I can be me and no-one else and live a carefree, happy life. Looking back this could be the last time I felt like this for so long without the changes that growing up is and the stresses and pressures that come with the change of age. With a new school comes new teachers and one of the first to make an impression on me was an elderly gent, probably approaching retirement but one of the nicest teachers I knew. I can’t remember his name now but I do remember that he was kind and knew how to get the best out of you and always had time for you. He drove a Triumph 2500 which at the time was one of the best cars on the market and I loved it! I remember wishing I had one every day I saw it.


we played out on streets
full of laughter and joy
sun high in the sky
playing games long forgotten
tig, kerbie, hide and seek
we had no cares or worries
life was simple, a pleasure
till the pop man came round
his smoky old wagon
slowly crawling onto our road
for a second everyone stopped, looked
and then the streets swarmed
with children running home
desperate to get the empty pop bottles
and get the 1p back on them
so they could get more pop
and another sugar rush
to get them through the afternoon


The Valley becomes our playground, our home. We go down there everyday after school, at weekends, every spare minute we have we play down the Valley. We play war games, hide and seek, anything we can just so we can be down the Valley. I get to know every inch of the Valley, all the trails, trees and embankments. I can still remember it now as it was when I was a kid. It’s changed now, all filled in just a big grass field. The Valley was special and still is. I wish I could play there one more time.


Paul is my first friend on Holmewood. We play in the street and on the green, have fun. Paul moves to Cornwall. I never see him again. Malcolm is my next friend. There’s a group of us all playing and having fun. One day I go to Malcolm’s house. His sister looks at me and tells me to leave. She gives no reason. I don’t know why, don’t understand. Maybe she knows something I don’t. I never see Malcolm again.

Chris is my next friend. He’s older than us and the leader of our gang. We play down the valley, jumping over streams, hide and seek, crawling in tunnels, running on trails. I’m enjoying life, having fun with friends, playing with no worries, no fears, no regrets.

More new friends on Holmewood. Paul, Colin and Peter. It’s the summer of 1973. We play football all day and all night. I’m me, I’m free. I’m enjoying life. Food, friends, freedom. Everything I want and need right now. Life is perfect.


We move again. Not far. To Holmewood council estate. It’s a big house with 3 bedrooms and gardens front and back. I like this house. I feel safe here, happy. It’s a new start for all of us. New jobs for mum and dad, new school for me, my sister has moved out. I fly a kite with my dad on the field near my house. I’m having fun.


I’m at a house, it might be mine, it might not. We have a visitor a woman. My mum and her are talking, I’m playing with my toys while they talk. I go near the woman’s feet, they bare, naked. This is my first memory of bare skin. I’m nervous, apprehensive about approaching her feet, touching her bare skin. Something inside me tells me to stop, to not touch, to not stare, to go back to playing with my toys. Bare skin is bad and should not be touched.


i remember my lego bricks
boxes and boxes of them
different shapes, sizes and colours
some were round
others had wheels
i built everything /span>
from houses to skyscrapers
cars to concorde
tanks to battleships
i even built a planet
entirely from lego bricks
the only thing i did not
build was a wall


you first came to my house
ran to the cellar, a blur
disappeared into the darkness
made it your home for weeks
one day i saw you
for the first time ever
as you walked out the door
left, forever i thought…
days later you came back
i was the chosen one
who would be looking after you
climbing trees with ease
faster than a shooting star
playing in sun
sleeping in snow
chasing mice for fun
birds a present for me
fights with Jodie
who will sleep on my knee
you enjoyed life
as queen of the street
growing older you
slow down preferring
cuddles to fights
getting softer with age
i believed you would
live forever
but the day came
when your body
could take no more
as you wrapped your paw
around the tip
of my finger
purred one last time
said goodbye daddy
i knew it was your time
to go to Rainbow Bridge
to play with Jodie
and the other
cats and dogs
just the way
you did when you
was young
furever
 


playing out on the street
on a summers day
sun high in the sky
games of tig, kerbie, hide and seek
no-one had a care or a worry
life was simple
till the pop man came round
alpine was our favourite
for a second the streets swarmed
with children running home
desperate to get the empty pop bottles
and get the 1p back on them
so they could get more pop
and another sugar rush
to get them through the afternoon