When I’m writing I sometimes get to a tricky part where I need to step back, just for a short while, a few minutes really, and instead of going away and actually doing something (which would probably be more useful!) I play the card game, patience. I’ve written about it a couple of times here, both posts looking back to my childhood:
When I was a child, even quite a small child I would often entertain myself with playing patience, the card game. I wasn’t a lonely child, I was close to my sister and we played together, but I was also good at entertaining myself and doing things on my own. I had books to read and to write in, and drawing books and pencils and paints and crayons, I had a second-hand Meccano set, but I liked to play cards, so I played patience. I played sevens – where you lay one card up and six more face down, then the row would be of six cards, then five etc. I also played clock patience, and if I got bored with that then I would play a game as if with someone else and deal the imaginary person a hand… I didn’t play snap, that was too impossible, but I played the one which started with the seven of diamonds… I can’t remember what happened next.
The imaginary person would also play Scrabble with me, and I would be really careful not to cheat, trying my hardest to take no notice of what tiles I knew the ‘other’ player had. I would also play Monopoly with myself, but I wasn’t as keen on other board games such as Ludo or Snakes and Ladders.
These days it’s so easy to download games or play on-line, there is no need to have an imaginary Scrabble playing friend because you can find someone or a virtual someone easily. Is something lost by this, or is it the same as what I did as a child? I was in a room on my own with a set of cards, or a board game, is that different from being on my own with a computer?
…and, slightly repeating myself, I wrote this:
When I was a child we didn’t have a TV, I think they were too expensive; I listened to the radio all the time, especially Children’s Hour, but other things as well, some programmes which exist to this day, some have long gone and probably only exist in people’s memories, there wasn’t the foresight then to keep recordings.
As well as listening to the radio we would paint and draw and make things out of balsa wood. I used to write stories and poems even then, and read, read, read, sometimes nearly twenty books a week, going back and forth to the library, and borrowing my mum’s library cards.
We played games too, scrabble as well as other board games. Sometimes my sister would be doing something else and maybe my friends were busy too, so I would occupy myself… and sometimes if I didn’t fancy any of my usual activities I would play patience. There were only two games of patience I knew in those days, clock patience when the cards would be arranged in piles of four in the positions of numbers on a clock face and a thirteenth pile in the middle, and what we called ‘sevens’ with seven piles of cards ranging from one card up to seven… the classic game.
I must have played hundreds and hundreds of games of patience… hundreds and hundreds!!
My featured image isn’t of me, it’s some unknown, unnamed girl modelling knitwear in a knitting book!