Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Post No. 300 : An Enid Blyton summer

Hot and heavy. Thunderstorms tomorrow, I think.

As the summer ticks on from July to August, it takes on an Enid Blyton air. The place is dripping with children, all industrious with something. The bigger ones are up in the bamboo woods, cutting off boughs (there's too much of the damn stuff anyway), making swords and lances, portable flag poles and long fans to keep us all maharajah-cool. The middle-sized ones are running barefoot, digging and building, damming the streams and chasing one another with homemade water pistols. And gamboling from one group to another is an ecstatically-happy mongrel dog called Tapo.

And every afternoon they make their way down the hill, colourful as a line of bunting, to the little pebble beach at the foot of the hill, strip off their clothes and head for the cool water, splashing, gasping, giggling and diving. Over the fence hang the Italian ladies with the big black dog, who keep enormous rabbits out back, calling "Ciao, bello" as Italian ladies should.

Personalities come and go as the weeks pass by. The 12-year-old hero who can dive off the creaky old jetty and come up 10 metres away gives way to the gaggle of 8-year-old blondies lounging by the fontana in their bikinis or parading around, arms linked in their flowered summer dresses. And two lanky teenage cousins pop up from nowhere to help with kick-abouts, building fantastical castles from sticks and stones, and teaching the younger members of the family how to make farting sounds with pieces of grass.

And in the late evening, when the sun goes down, those not under curfew don their headlights, synchronise their walkie-talkies and head out into the dark to a make-believe world of cops vs robbers. Or perhaps wizards vs the undefined forces of evil. Or perhaps just to scare the life out of each other round corners, up stone staircases and under bridges.

An Enid Blyton summer. With homemade lemonade and ice-cream, fruit-juice lollipops on the steps among the oleander flowers and lemon cake baking in the oven.

An Enid Blyton summer. Helping to feed the chicks, watering the garden, learning how to twist off the tomatoes and dig in the soil for potatoes. Finding the new litter of kittens in the wood pile.

An Enid Blyton summer. But perhaps my two will wait a few years before they follow trails down tunnels, get wedged into partisan holes and solve mysterious riddles scratched on ancient parchments to foil the plotters and still get home for tea.


Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007, 2008. All rights reserved. Please ask first.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great instalment. Your descriptions of the children at play are wonderful and they remind me of my childhood by the river Leam and all the antics our gang got up to.
Enid Blyton's Five on Treasure Island was my most favoured book.

Vanessa said...

Bravo, Louise! 300 posts is some going with two sproggies under four and a semi-renovated house to deal with. Where the hell do you find the time? Keep on bloggin'!

Louise said...

Dear Vanessa -- you're my biggest fan! Thanks for your support and many comments. If I keep blogging, will you keep reading?

Louise said...

Dear Anonymous, If I ask nicely will you one day tell me more about the things you got up to on the Leam?

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Post No. 300 : An Enid Blyton summer

Hot and heavy. Thunderstorms tomorrow, I think.

As the summer ticks on from July to August, it takes on an Enid Blyton air. The place is dripping with children, all industrious with something. The bigger ones are up in the bamboo woods, cutting off boughs (there's too much of the damn stuff anyway), making swords and lances, portable flag poles and long fans to keep us all maharajah-cool. The middle-sized ones are running barefoot, digging and building, damming the streams and chasing one another with homemade water pistols. And gamboling from one group to another is an ecstatically-happy mongrel dog called Tapo.

And every afternoon they make their way down the hill, colourful as a line of bunting, to the little pebble beach at the foot of the hill, strip off their clothes and head for the cool water, splashing, gasping, giggling and diving. Over the fence hang the Italian ladies with the big black dog, who keep enormous rabbits out back, calling "Ciao, bello" as Italian ladies should.

Personalities come and go as the weeks pass by. The 12-year-old hero who can dive off the creaky old jetty and come up 10 metres away gives way to the gaggle of 8-year-old blondies lounging by the fontana in their bikinis or parading around, arms linked in their flowered summer dresses. And two lanky teenage cousins pop up from nowhere to help with kick-abouts, building fantastical castles from sticks and stones, and teaching the younger members of the family how to make farting sounds with pieces of grass.

And in the late evening, when the sun goes down, those not under curfew don their headlights, synchronise their walkie-talkies and head out into the dark to a make-believe world of cops vs robbers. Or perhaps wizards vs the undefined forces of evil. Or perhaps just to scare the life out of each other round corners, up stone staircases and under bridges.

An Enid Blyton summer. With homemade lemonade and ice-cream, fruit-juice lollipops on the steps among the oleander flowers and lemon cake baking in the oven.

An Enid Blyton summer. Helping to feed the chicks, watering the garden, learning how to twist off the tomatoes and dig in the soil for potatoes. Finding the new litter of kittens in the wood pile.

An Enid Blyton summer. But perhaps my two will wait a few years before they follow trails down tunnels, get wedged into partisan holes and solve mysterious riddles scratched on ancient parchments to foil the plotters and still get home for tea.


Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007, 2008. All rights reserved. Please ask first.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great instalment. Your descriptions of the children at play are wonderful and they remind me of my childhood by the river Leam and all the antics our gang got up to.
Enid Blyton's Five on Treasure Island was my most favoured book.

Vanessa said...

Bravo, Louise! 300 posts is some going with two sproggies under four and a semi-renovated house to deal with. Where the hell do you find the time? Keep on bloggin'!

Louise said...

Dear Vanessa -- you're my biggest fan! Thanks for your support and many comments. If I keep blogging, will you keep reading?

Louise said...

Dear Anonymous, If I ask nicely will you one day tell me more about the things you got up to on the Leam?