“Her wild, wild garden…”

The lost of conversation, found here.

Play Everything

One of my first jobs in play involved interviewing elderly residents of Islington about their childhood memories.  It was so easy to make these appointments, so smooth and sad to call ahead and hear the housing coordinator say “oooh, they’d love a visit”.  She’d meet me at the gate and escort me through the doors and hallways, into a parlour that smelt of bleach and starchy food.  A circle of eight or nine women, and one or two men, would be waiting for me.

“Why do you want to hear about this old stuff for?” they asked, once the tea and biscuits were laid out.

“It’s interesting,” I said.  “I’m curious about what children get up to…  especially when they’re on their own.  I’m curious whether it’s changing.”  Someone laughed, someone else nudged her friend.  Harold, a rogueish older gentleman suggested that his memories would make my hair curl, and…

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