Saturday, December 6, 2014

Child's Play

Hard to beat the imaginations of children. Our back garden was Landsdowne Road or Wembley, Croke Park, Lords. The shed gave us one well-formed goal complete with concrete net. It was nice to score in the top corner. It was also a bipeds' show-jumping arena, an obstacle course for cyclists and dangerously open ground for  cowboys. On frosty days a robin perched on the clothes line and declared it the finest day ever God sent. On a fine day, I lay out on a rug, watched glinting jets create the geometry of jet trails; I followed their progress as far as possible, then dreamed of places far far away.

The Fort 

When the shed was full of turf, Martin and I dug a bunker, mounted hurlies, one to the front, two through the slits in the back wall and spent all afternoon watching for Germans invading from Fahy’s or crawling on their bellies through the long grass behind Glynn’s.  

Sometimes we took our rifles onto the roof. Shot, we plummeted to our deaths onto the lawn or maybe parachuted with pillow-cases before dashing for cover under a hail of enemy fire.  

Now and then we charged, guns blazing, picking off enemy between the gooseberry bushes; or we fired on a jet, watched its jet-trail pouring smoke into the sky before ditching over the horizon, out beyond Stonepark. 

All winter our bunker dwindled; May saw the shed empty. Good thing too, it would have been hard playing the Cup Final with turf still stacked in the net.

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