Five Childhood Puzzles – clay, perfume, ink, nests, furniture

When I look back at some of the things we used to do as kids, I find it really puzzling. I can find no explanation that makes any sense for some of the silly games we played. In the next Abergele in Shorts I’ll tell you about the most destructive games we played; for now, how about a few constructive ones? Things we made or built. Here’s the Top 5:

1. Clay: Michael Hughes (Wavetree), Gareth Bach (Trigfa) and I put on our wellies and waded up the Gele to scoop out handfuls of clay from the banks. The backs of my wellies had split at the ankles, so they soon filled up with water and you could hear me squelching home a mile off. We rolled the clay into a long sausage and coiled it into a pot.

2. Perfume: We’d pick the petals off neighbours’ roses, crush them and squeeze them into tiny water-filled Haliborange jars. Oblivious to our vandalism, I bet our neighbours thought their rose plants had a rare form of petal rot. Sorry.

3. Ink: Ever gathered bilberries or blackberries and squashed them to make ink? We did. We’d write secret letters with feather pens on dead leaves and hide them up trees.

4. Nests: We’d make bird nests out of small twigs , moss and feathers. We’d climb high up into the upper branches of the trees. I wonder whether any birds ever nested in them?

5. Furniture: Dad helped us hammer two short planks onto one long one to make a garden bench. It was remarkably strong … as long as you sat absolutely still. In our family album, there’s a lovely black and white photo of my brother and I sitting on our bench near the privet hedge in our back garden, wearing shorts, zipped up hooded anoraks and wellies which had splits at the back of the ankles.

Batman badge and homemade bench
the home-made bench

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