Childhood Games

This week’s Listography is “top 5 games of my childhood.”

1. Oh the fun you can have in a pool. We used to:

  • Sit in the middle of a tractor tyre and get someone to roll it into the water.
  • Line up alongside the pool and sing the Village People’s Milkshake. Then when you get to the bit when they sing “Chocolate! Strawberry yeah” you each pick a flavour and take it in turns to jump into the pool, singing your chosen flavour as you leap into the water. See my previous post about the word “daggy” and hold that thought as you keep reading.
  • Line up along the water’s edge and go “da da da da da da Wonder Woman!” and then jump / spin into the water.
  • Play Marco Polo. One person is “in” and they have to try to grab everybody else with their eyes shut. They call out “Marco” and everyone else answers with “Polo” to give a clue as to whereabouts they are. The others can get out of the pool, but if the person who is “in” says “Fish out of water!” and someone is out of water, that fish is now in. So I used to just stay put and go “Fish out of water! Fish out of water! Fish out of water!” because someone was bound to get of the pool at some stage. You say lazy, I say cleverly conserving my energy.
  • Have Pool Pony races. Pool Ponies were fun but looking back, they seem a bit wrong. Not as wrong as England wearing black at the world cup though – what is that all about??

2. Does this qualify as a game? My cousin and I used to dig up giant ants’ nests in search of a queen ant. It turns out they are allusive creatures. Should you ever plan to take a shovel to an ants nest in Australia, I recommend you don’t wear thongs (flipflops).

3. I might have run around outside with a towel as a cape, pretending to be the girl from G-Force. Maybe.

4. I grew up on a cotton farm, with plenty of irrigation channels. Funnily enough, if it rained these would get wet. The beauty of wet black clay soil is it gets really, really slippery. So what do you do on a farm with bank after bank of slippery slopes? You slide down them. Oooooh I do love me a mud slide.

I don’t have any cotton farm photos here, so I did a google search and had a sudden bout of homesickness. Our farm was sold years ago and I wish I had taken more photos of it.

5. Picking a final game for this list is hard. We were always on the lookout for sheep knuckles, which we’d clean and paint to play jacks. Then we’d eat some roadkill (nah but you were wondering that weren’t you?). We played Red Light during the day and Spot Light at night. If you found a tennis ball it was time for handball. When there was a big group of us and just one tennis court we played Community. We used to pretend the cattle yards on my friend’s property was a city complete with trams. None of us had seen a tram before but that was OK. So I’m going not going to pick one final game to make my complete list of five.

Instead I shall raise my glass to making your own fun. Ooh might get another wine actually…

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