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Clearing out the shed


 
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Clearing out the shed Reply with quote

I just thought I would share this snippet with you...

MAKING THE WORLD A BRIGHTER PLACE

I am clearing the shed out. It's one of those jobs that should really be done every week if you have the time but it's not been touched since we moved into the house last summer. We just used it as a dumping ground for anything that we didn't have a place for.

In one corner, there is a collection of different sized paint tins. Some of these tins have followed me around for twenty years. Why I keep them I don't know. They can't be used for touching up because I wouldn't know where I applied the paint in the first place. Maybe it's to remind me of some of the disastrous colour combinations I have painted rooms in the past. I doubt any of them have any useable paint in them and I could probably use the skins as Frisbees. I hang onto them, mainly because I can't find anywhere in Inishowen to take them to be recycled.

JUST HANGING AROUND

The tins do remind me of a saga when I was an early teenager. My friends and I were hanging out as usual on our local park. We had swings, a slide and something that was called a Bobbie's helmet. This helmet was about eighteen feet tall and looked a bit like the galvanised steel Christmas tree that is permanently set up on the way to Quigley's point. The whole thing, unlike the Christmas tree, moved around from a central point very erratically and quickly which usually resulted in squashing children between the pole and seating area - life before health and safety was never boring.

All of the playthings were very dull and sombre, being painted in a very boring dark green colour, which was probably left over from a job lot after the Second World War. The old paint was peeling off in places and the rust was showing through. "Why don't we brighten them up?" a friend of mine suggested. We all thought this was a great idea. Our gang (about 10 youths) went off home having made arrangements to sneak out of our houses and come back at three in the morning armed with whatever old paint and brushes we could find. The fact that we had picked such an early hour for our 'community service' shows we knew we weren't just being selfless.

BRINGERS OF JOY AND COLOUR

Sneaking out of the house was easy for me as I lived in a bungalow and only had to open the window and climb out. We all met up at the Bobbie's helmet, wearing dark clothing and clutching our spoils and silently set about brightening up our world.

We worked hard, and, I must say, very thoroughly until the dawn broke.

"Wow!" we all said as we stepped back to admire our handywork. It looked fantastic. We are all used to bright children's play areas now, as plastic is the order of the day, but in the 1970's we were ahead of the game here with our psychedelic activity centre.

We were so happy. In a couple of days the gloss paint we had used will be dry and all of the children in the area will hail us as bringers of joy to a dull adult world. Cleaning ourselves up thoroughly with white spirit to get rid of the evidence, we went home happy and still managed to get up for school as though nothing had happened, although we did smell a bit of thinners.

ALL IS WELL
All was well until the following evening when I got home from school "Parents really ought to keep a closer eye on what their children get up to in the evenings." My mother was looking at the front page of the local paper. I looked over her shoulder to see a photo of a young boy of about five looking very sad, covered in bright coloured paint standing next to our groovy Bobbies helmet. The caption was "Vandals ruin the community park play area." I shrugged my shoulders, did a bit of tut tutting and agreed wholeheartedly with my mother. In reality though I was devastated, we were doing a public service after all were we not?

A meeting of the gang was in order "What will we do now?" I asked. " Why don't we go back and re- paint everything in one colour, that way everyone will be happy," a friend suggested and not having much sense, we all agreed it would be the best course of action. "Great idea, who's got loads of paint all of the same colour?" someone asked. "I do." I said, putting my hand up (still thinking I was at school). "My dad hoards things like that and I can get gallons of dark blue gloss that has been in the garage for years." We would be heroes this time.

BLUE MOON
We met again by moonlight the following weekend. I had raided our garage and managed to sneak out a couple of gallons of the blue paint, complete with 10 fresh paintbrushes (my dad hoarded those too). In silence we prised the lids off of the paint, gave them a stir and starting with the Bobbie's helmet, we worked for hours painstakingly covering over our happiness, turning the once colourful world a shade nearly as dull as the original one. The injustice of it all. One day the world will realise we were right the first time, bright is best.........

There was never a mention on the local paper of our efforts to put things right by meticulously repainting everything, (very well, we thought), a dark blue colour and also never a mention about the fact that our house, next to the park, was exactly the same shade of dark blue .....

Now where was I?.....



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Liparis
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 651
Location: Co. Meath

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Clearing out the shed Reply with quote

inishindie wrote:
... a slide and something that was called a Bobbie's helmet. This helmet was about eighteen feet tall and looked a bit like the galvanised steel Christmas tree that is permanently set up on the way to Quigley's point. The whole thing, unlike the Christmas tree, moved around from a central point very erratically ...

Oh my! The memories. We called them Witches Hats.
In the 50's, our aim was to shimmy to the point and perch on it while everyone else sent it spinning and rocking at 1,000 miles per hour and see who could stay on the longest Laughing
I'd forgotten all about that until I read this. I still bear a scar on my index finger where it got too close to the pivot as I hung on and got it squashed and burst it open, faint now, but the scar is there. A few stitches at the local hospital (where did these go?) and we were back at it the next day Laughing
Bill.

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MuddyWitch
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 16
Location: England...but on my way to the Co Galway

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously I was a spoilt child 'cos our local swings, seesaw and 'may pole' ( a devious device with four iron rings hanging from a cross bar arrangement at the top of a 20ft pole) were all painted in barbers' pole style. Double twists of colour & no two legs of the swings were the same. However we kids suspected the painters were colour-blind as some of the pairings made your eyes water!

As a child, I always thought those boring concrete bridges over big roads & motorways would look better for a nice psychedelic paint job...it seems the graffiti artists of today agree with me!

MW

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