Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fun is Free!

When I was eight, we spent the winter with my grandma, in her cottage in a small village in the east of England. It was a thatched cottage, with low ceilings and wobbly floors. My father had to stoop to walk through the door-ways. Leading upstairs were two steep and narrow staircases, both with ropes draped on the walls that served as banisters. I used to love climbing up those stairs on my way to bed, hanging onto the ropes and pretending I was a mountain climber.

And that winter there was much more for the imagination to play with: we got snowed in! It snowed and snowed for days on end until there was so much snow, we couldn’t open the front door, nor the ground floor windows. And the snow stayed for so long that we ran out of food! Eventually a helicopter arrived and dropped food in large nets onto the snow-laden roof. My father and grandfather climbed out of an upstairs window to retrieve it. Imagine the excitement for an eight-year old! But neither my parents or my grandfather seemed to appreciate my excitement, hardly responding to my shrieks of delight at all. They were all too (understandably) worried, fretting about the food supplies, the buried cars, the freezing cold, the lack of electricity, the frozen pipes,....... and all that snow!

My grandmother, however, was different. She turned the whole experience into an adventure! She made soup in a big pot over the fire in the fireplace while wearing a black witches hat and teaching me to recite ‘hubble bubble, toil and trouble’ as she stirred. We drew funny faces on the cold wet window panes, while stuffing towels around the windows to modify the draught. We kept warm with layer upon layer of clothing until we looked like aliens and waddled about making up alien dances. She made everyone gather round to roast sausages in the fireplace, and sing songs as loud as we could. It was wonderful! To this day, my memories of her - and especially that snow-bound experience - serve to remind me that fun, play, and delight can be had in pretty much most situations ……regardless of how bad the times are! It’s all in the attitude - Such a good reminder this year :-)

1 comment:

  1. Mountain climbing or Rock climbing may be a dangerous activity, but with the help of proper training and good mountain climbing gear your risk can be minimized to a great extent.