I remember making concoctions, and potions from grass, mud, berries, water and leaves and trying to poison our grandparents cat in the garden.We’d wait for ants to crawl on the leaves before capturing them, and trickle them into our Lego forts, and add a few to our concoctions, and watch them swim. We’d enter the garden from the side door through the kitchen or through my uncles door in his bedroom. When we got older, the door got sealed. Kind of affected the play opportunities afterwards only having one mode of access to the garden.
My uncle would be listening to Mtume or Kate Bush from the front room,
the bassline was so sweet you could smell it like the Bisto advert
I remember the drowning slow sounds of aeroplanes above the garden, and wondering whether we were under the flight path of one of London’s airports. They seemed to take an eternity to travel over our heads, drowning out our thoughts. Tom, my grandparents cat, would stop and stare, and the sounds would trigger off Samson from next to start barking.
I’m trying to recall whether he ever got loose, he was a beast of a dog.
I remember putting chairs together in the front room, and putting blankets or duvets over the top and making tents. Watching telly through the little hole, or eating in there. I loved that. I loved my Magical Childhood. Or we would bunch up the sheets and make it look like roads or rough terrain and make our cars go through.
I remember the days of snuggling up four deep in a bed at our cousins, and hoping someone didn’t wet the bed.
I remember the Lego fights in our attic, and our friends that’s would come down. It was war, amongst friends hiding behind the balcony and entrance to this restricted unadulterated world of play.
I remember we’d perfect our football skills in the passage, or front room. Barefooted of course to improve the touch. Again, I lost count the amount of times we smashed our little toes against the leg of the chair.
Let me tell you they use to distress our thighs. We’d see how many steps we could jump down, and watch the amount of times our friends cracked their head on the ledge on our steps, hysterical. Or the length of time you could hold your breath under water. Or play games and if you lost, you’d have to drink a pint of water, and you couldn’t kop out.
When we did have pocket money bargin basement would become our best friend. Now this was a place that sold batteries, stationary, bedding, and most importantly light bulbs, as we used to smashed the granny out of light bulbs playing football in the house. So light bulbs and the dust pan and brush became our best friends from an early age. Also smashing peoples windows on our road when playing football, my mum must have been pissed, now this was before double glazing so yeah, my mum must have been loaded, kids smashed windows playing football regularly.
I remember playing World Cup in our back garden, how all of my friends fitted in there, I’d never know. I use to hate having to jump over the fence to get the ball, especjally if it went into Lucky the dog’s garden. Even though he was chained up, the garden was always littered with dog shit, and dog food. On football….. I’m sure then my brother hadn’t been brained washed to support Manchester United, poor soul he’s never been the same mentally since he changed teams.