Saturday, 27 August 2011

Summer Holidays - 80s and 90s Style

The holidays are almost up (boo). But I've been thinking about the difference in the summer holidays my daughter has and the ones I had as a child.

I try and plan activities to stop the kids getting bored but my mum never did that. She didn't have to because I don't ever remember being bored during the holidays. I'm sure I was at some point and I'm looking back with rose-tinted sunglasses but my memories involved shovelling down my breakfast so I could go out and play, only returning to eat at lunch and tea time before rushing out again, afraid of missing out on any fun being had in my absence. We only sloped back home when the street lights started to flicker.

This picture pretty much sums up my summers:

Marbles. I loved them. All the kids on the street loved them. At the age of 7, I broke my ankle but did it stop the marble fun? Nope. I left my crutches at the front door and hobbled out to the greatest marble hole on the street (which was outside my house and created by the combination of my brother and a pick axe).

It's no wonder that the foot of my cast started to crumble and I had to get it reinforced at the hospital.

Another year, a lad around the same age came to stay with his grandfather who lived on my street, for the summer . He was from Bangladesh and he played marbles differently. Instead of trying to roll your marble in a hole, they drew a chalk circle and placed all the marbles inside and the aim was to roll another marble towards them and knock them out of the circle. So that summer we played two different kinds of marbles.

Another time, me and my brother (the same one who had created the marble hole) didn't have any marbles and didn't have any money to buy any so we improvised. By covering the holes of some black beads with our thumb and forefinger, we could pretend they were 'a new kind of marble'. It worked long enough for us to win a few actual marbles to play with but the other kids weren't impressed we'd tricked them.

It wasn't just about marbles though. We played rounders (and had many disagreements about who should retrieve the ball when it flew into the grumpy old lady's front garden), M.I.L.K, Red Letter, Hide and Seek and Curby. Ah, the simple joy of lobbing a ball across the road to try to make it bounce back off the opposite curb.

Kids don't seem to play these games anymore. It's all about computers, bashing away at a DS or, if they do happen to venture outside into the fresh air, making a nuisance of themselves. It's a shame because looking back, the summer holidays were brilliant and we were never bored. I'm not sure the children of today can say the same thing.

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