Thursday, 17 October 2013

Mixed Messengers

life cycle of zombie funnyAnother great day at school apart from when Ben ran outside to tell on me for having messed up attaching wings to a bug-shaped invitation to the parent's evening next week. So because he "went on about it" I cried half the way home. Another friend used to do this to me but I don't want to do it back because I can see it's pointless and nobody listens to 7 year-olds anyway.
So he said: given this blubbing, shall we use the copious free time in the lovely sunshine to go to the seafront or a totally different park and have our own private Thursday Park without any of these rampant transgressors. No, I said, I still want to go and play with Ben and Erin and the high-maintenance one and the twins that crashed my bike last time.
Last weekend I banned Ben from my bedroom forever but wanted him to come back the next day. Jof said let's have a week without friends but straight away I went to Beavers with, like, 9 of them. Today Ben made me cry but I went straight out to play with him. Mixed messages indeed. Perhaps it's all my fault and I have heightened emotions.
pile of branches and sticks for camp building
We cycled to Yellow Plum Park and played a bit of football but then the girlies (of which there were many) found a pile of branches in the corner and started making a camp.
wounded soldier being rescued Then basically we all spent an ecstatic hour and a half dragging sticks and branches to this camp, building a den, firing at each other through it, and rebuilding it in new and interesting ways. One amongst us is designated idiot so we christened him "Mr Maker" for he made branches for us. The park officials had pruned back the thickets and used the dead trees to block up the secret entrance to the back of Ben's old school. Our job, as we saw it, was to pull them out again.
He untangled dead trees, and by dint of many shouted orders and teamwork, we dragged them past the smoking teenagers with their exciting vocabulary and phraseology (who had stolen our usual bench) and installed them in our den. One by one, we played 'Man Down' and were rescued by shock troops through the Sallyport.
And at the end, all the locals had gone home and us Puddlers stayed on till the last. If it wasn't for sunset, we could have stayed all week, all arguments forgotten. We hadn't gone on one single swing or slide, and had to stop off in normal swingpark on the way home for a quick monkey-bar. Why can't all days be like that?
civil servant finance directorate office cartoonCourtesy of the late Blind Uncle Len, the final visit to the Civil Service bean-counters of the past sees Hodgman's Grand Circus. No doubt all these permanent private secretaries and other senior officials were well-known in their day, but now it's just a little bizarre.
I wonder if there is a place for them in Whitehall?

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