More Childhood Puzzles – trim, pyromania, smoke, killer jar

In the last Abergele in Shorts, I talked about the things we used to make when we played, as children. This list is more destructive:

Trim: I was 9, Gwynedd was 7. It was the early hours of the morning on the day the school photographer was due at Ysgol Glan Morfa. Like most young children, we were awake way before our parents. Mum had been making curtains the night before and she hadn’t hidden the scissors well enough. I decided that my brother and I needed a trim … to look our best.

You can guess what the photo looked like. The look on Miss Roberts’s face when we walked into class that morning was a picture too.

Pyromania: A similar morning to the one when we cut our own hair. This time it was the box of matches that dad hadn’t hidden well enough. We piled the fireplace high with coal. Imagine the scene that greeted mum and dad when they got up: their two sons in their pyjamas, sitting in the ashes with black faces, a pile of spent matches on the grate. Lucky really that it’s not so easy to set an open fire alight.

Smoke: The fire fascination extended to the family camping weekends to Gwytherin. We’d been cooking freshly caught brook trout on an open fire. The rest of the family had gone to sleep. I picked a dried cow parsley stem, stuck one end in the campfire and sucked in the smoke. Needless to say, that was the last time I ever smoked.

Killer Jar: In the days when we collected the paper golliwogs from jars of Robertson’s jam, we sprinkled finely chopped laurel leaves into an empty jar. We netted a small blue butterfly and pushed it into the killer jar, screwed down the lid and watched it slowly die. Children, innocent? Pull the other one!

old Corona bottle
old Corona bottle, photographed at Red Rock, Tower Hill.

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