Sunday, August 10, 2008

Played with Sticks...or Did I?

Since I posted Happy Birthday Williamo I have been asked a couple of times about this diary-keeping thing...

Well, it all began at Xmas 1964 when I got this as one of my presents...

The diary stayed in Liverpool for a long time and then my mother generously gave it to my older daughter - so that my kids could have a good laugh at my expense!!

And, as they do, they did. They really did.

I have had the piss taken out of me mercilessly since then for the naive, innocent, ten-year-old-boy entries I made and for my... erm... somewhat limited access to toys and my consequent enthusiasm for what to my modern-day kids, spoilt, if I may say so, by PlayStations, Gameboys, PC games, etc. which would then have been like artefacts from another planet, seem like objects of incredibly mind-numbing boredom!

To be fair, the very first entry, 1st January 1965, does reveal a certain access to what was a that time a very, very new toy called 'lego'.

Curiously, what looks like the first entry - for 31st December 1964 - is in fact a bit of Winston-Smithian re-writing of the past.
There are a few examples of this where I have obviously revisited the diary from my teenage years to enter something which for some reason I felt I should have written. Don't know why I did that - it is totally obvious too, as the handwriting is completely different...!

Anyway, one of the catch-phrases which has developed amongst my kids to underline the poverty of my childhood play is "Played with sticks. Had a smashing time" (normally done in a Mr Bean-type voice) followed by peals of derisive laughter.

Well, after intensive research of my records of 1965 I can now reveal that I did NOT play with sticks - at least if I did, I didn't bother writing about it.

I think there has been a conflation - as in ancient writings of the past; e.g. the Bible, the Iliad or Odyssey to name just 3 - of two quite separate entries. The first is from 2nd January above where you can clearly see "Played on the pipes... had a smashing time." These were huge concrete sewage pipes which were lying around on a field behind our street waiting to be put underground and it was pretty exciting playing on them, I can tell you!

The second part of this conflation or misinterpretation probably comes from 11th August... here we see, "played with bits of wood..."

Not only are they clearly not sticks they turn out to be bits of wood which would fly through the air if we spun them!!

Beat that with your poxy PlayStation...

4 comments:

Jay said...

You had bits of wood? We had to make our own wood out of old newspapers when I was a kid. IF you could get the newspapers. I remember we found two pages from The Times, once. That was a good day.

And your wood spun through the air?

You had your own air???

Neutron said...

LOL! Well, we had to MAKE our own air...

But you try telling that to the kids of today...

MacDuff said...

How big was this wood that could fly if spun - stick size?

Neutron said...

Hi mcduff, I hope you are not trying to argue that these bits of wood could be construed as being sticks!!
I can categorically state that they did not in the least resemble sticks...the were very unsticklike bits of non-sticklike wood.