Adults born to swing

I'M so excited and I just can't hide it. I feel like a kiddie again which is quite a shock because I've never been one for harking back to my childhood.

I'M so excited and I just can't hide it. I feel like a kiddie again which is quite a shock because I've never been one for harking back to my childhood. I couldn't stand the terrible winters for a start. Yes, skidding along on huge slides of black ice in the school playground was fun, but that's about all that can be said for enduring weeks of snow and slush back in the 1960s.

Having chapped hands, feet, and lips didn't exactly fire my enthusiasm for the white stuff, nor did the ice that formed on the inside of my bedroom window. And the fashion wasn't up to much either. Thick woollen socks with elastic garters, welly boots, gabardine mac, and fur balaclava was definitely not a good look. The summer wear wasn't much better.

What I wouldn't have given to have been able to ditch my sensible sandals and shorts for a pair of trendy rubber flip-flops and pedal pushers like those worn by my American friend Karen. It's true you don't fully appreciate what you've got until it's gone and I'm sorry to say I did take some things for granted.

Oh, it's alright if I still fancy clopping around in high heels and old dresses - no comment please. I can just hold a murder mystery party. And whenever I have an urge to indulge in a spot of make-believe I dip into some of the children's fiction I studied at college, such as The Secret Garden or Harry Potter. Boy it's great having a ready made excuse to read anything I like. I only have to shout “research” and I'm instantly left in peace. While any desire I may have to play chase, or doctors and nurses etc, is easily remedied by a quick trip to see a relative's six-year-old triplets. It's just a shame the outfits don't fit although I do get to wear a pirate's hook if I ask nicely.

I can even sit glued to DVDs of my favourite programmes from yesteryear like Torchy the Battery Boy, and Mr Ed if I feel so inclined. But despite all these ways of reliving the bests bits of my childhood there is one thing that I sorely miss which remains out of bounds to me.

You wouldn't believe the torment I've endured over the years watching our daughters and other youngsters romp on the play equipment in such places as Christchurch and Bourne Park while all the time wishing I could have a go, too. That's why I was absolutely ecstatic to learn about Britain's first playground for the over-60s which opened in Manchester the other day. It may well be meant to keep them fit but going by the giggles that reportedly came from the pensioners it does more than that.

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Oh, I really hope the idea catches on around here. I might have some years to go before I'm allowed entry but it'd definitely be worth the wait. I can just see me racing hubby to the swings.

AS you're probably aware I'm not adverse to a spot of shopping. Give me a couple of hours and a wad of cash, or credit card, and I'm as happy as Larry. But even my patience on the shopping front has been sorely tested of late by that most annoying of objects, the security tag.

Of course I realise they're a necessity in this “help yourself” world, but it's no joke having alarms constantly bleeping and people staring accusingly at you just because an assistant's neglected to take one off. Forget the fact they only served you seconds earlier. They certainly do!

Waving a receipt around in the air doesn't help much either. You're still forced to make your way back to the counter to have the offending item removed. If that isn't bad enough though it seems the situation has just got a whole lot worse.

Take the handbag I bought recently. I'd watched hawk-eyed as the assistant detached the tag so I didn't for one second think the alarm was blaring because of me. How wrong can you be? The instant I tried to set foot in other stores, bells started ringing left, right, and centre. Not best pleased I made a hasty return to my first port of call.

“Oh, there's probably another tag hidden out of sight somewhere,” the young lady who'd served me the bag stated totally nonplussed, as she dug one out of an inside compartment. “The other day,” she went on somewhat triumphantly, “we had a man come back with six on his jacket.”

Talk about taking it a tag too far. You won't catch me going there again.

DID you know there are apparently 200 minor seismic tremors in Britain every year, but ninety per cent of them go undetected by the public? No neither did I till I did a search of the internet. You see hubby and I are convinced we detected one here in Ipswich the other week.

There I was sitting in bed sipping an early morning cuppa when the bric-a-brac on my dressing table suddenly rattled. A split second later hubby, who was standing leaning against the window sill, let out a gasp.

“Blimey, I've never felt the earth move like that before!” he exclaimed.

Luckily for him I knew what he meant. If that was an example of a very mini-quake I hate to think what the real McCoy must be like! Let's hope we never find out.