This blog grew out of a conversation that I had with my granddaughter amanuensis over breakfast this morning, when I took a ridiculous walk down memory lane and told her about some of the daft, rough games we played in the streets when I was seven or thereabouts. Memory is the oddest thing, I could remember the chants like ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf?’ and the words of the skipping games like ‘Charlie Chaplin went to France, to teach the ladies how to dance, and this is how he taught them, whooshy la la la,’ as if I’d been playing them yesterday.
Strictly speaking, I shouldn’t have been playing out in the streets, because my mother didn’t approve of it. She said ‘only common children played in the streets’ and didn’t send me to the local primary school, but to a posh convent school a good deal further away, I suppose because she thought I’d be ‘safer’ there. But once I’d got the hang of the roads I took a detour as I was walking home and joined a gang in the street before mine and played all manner of rough, noisy games, that the nuns would have thrown up their hands in horror to see. I loved it. And the rougher the better! I got home rather worse for wear and had to be washed and brushed and generally tidied up before my mother could see me.
But I remember the thrill of the games even to this day and the lovely sense of being part of a gang, even if I didn’t live in their road.
I wonder where they all are now?