Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autumn Childhood

I was beginning to think that today's children don't really know about autumn.

When I was little I loved it. Scuffing my feet through the leaves, collecting blackberries, climbing the trees in the garden to pick apples and pears. And, of course, trying to find the best possible conkers to put on a string to play with, or just to keep in their beautiful shiny roundness.

These days I find conkers lying on the ground everywhere, unloved and un-played-with. If you click on the link in the previous sentence it explains about the game, if you don't know it. Basically, you put your conker on a string and try to break your opponent's conker by swinging your conker towards it. And yes, when I was little we really did say, as in the article on the website,

"Oddly oddly onker, my first conker".

Now Health and Safety has banned the game of conkers from schools, considering it to be dangerous. Sighhhhhhhhhh.

But then, in the Tuileries in Paris last weekend- a beautiful park by the river - I found some children playing in the autumn like children should, running about and making a huge pile of leaves:



Others were busy on a playground:

yet more were on a roundabout:

And everywhere I looked there were improvised games of football. It was, granted, a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. I didn't see anyone playing conkers. But it was great to see all those children "playing out" just like we used to do.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Milo said...

Is blogger still down?

9:54 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

And you didn't get arrested for taking photos of them!!

8:19 am  

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