Friday, 18 February 2011

British Bulldog 123

Here is today’s work. I have completed the bowl in the still life and should finish it tomorrow pending any detail changes.

It is the birthday of one of our grandchildren this weekend. It just amazes me how much times have changed, how many presents they get and what they cost. When I was a child toys were rarely bought. Either they were made for us or we found something to play with. The most we could wish for was, a penknife with a rainbow handle, a catapult or some marbles.

There were any number of games to play with a penknife but the most popular was split.

Split was a game when you stood opposite each other with feet together. You would then take it in turns throwing the knife. The idea was to throw the knife into the ground adjacent to your friend’s foot. If it stuck in the ground the friend had to move his foot to the position of the penknife without moving his other foot. You took it in turns to throw until one fell over or you couldn’t go any further. Then you threw the knife between the opponent’s legs shouting split to win. No doubt health and safety would frown on this sort of activity but I don’t recall anyone getting seriously hurt.

The catapult would be fashioned with a knife from a stout forked branch with a good piece of elastic on it. We would go hunting imaginary beasts with them or play “war” on the bombsites still around at that time. War involved picking sides and throwing stones at each other, pretty basic and of course to be frowned upon by adults. Marbles was the game you played in school along with British Bulldog.

British Bulldog is quite physical, often being regarded as violent leading it to be banned from many schools now. One or two players were selected to play the parts of the the bulldog.The bulldogs stood in the middle of the play area. All the remaining players stood at one end of the playgound. The aim of the game is to run from one end of the field of play to the other, without being caught/takled by the bulldogs. When a player is caught, they become a bulldog themselves. The winner is the last player or players 'free'.

Maybe on reflection Wii and the other toys are a safer (but not necessarily better) option.

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