Houses used to take a long time to build. Brick foundations would be constructed, followed by the erection of a timber frame. This frame, then, would be left for a couple of months or more, to let the freshly cut timber “cure”, thereby providing a 1950s adventure playground for kids, especially during school holiday times. One day, a large group of us was playing on a house construction. We were playing at being circus tightrope walkers and had rigged up a long piece of timber between two piles of bricks. Back and forth we walked across the imagined tightrope single piece of timber. One kid was game enough to try running across. Then another suggested hopping. We began to be more adventurous with our crossings. Part way through this play-acting we noticed there were broken brick pieces immediately under our circus ‘balance beam’. Totally out of character, we decided to consider our safety and moved the bricks. Almost on cue, as Lorraine attempted to execute a skipping action across the beam, she missed her footing and came crashing down. Had we not moved the underlying bricks, her injuries would have been far more serious than a scraped knee and a few bruises. We had learnt our lesson there. But another accident was yet to come. We had abandoned our self constructed circus “tight rope” and were utilising the inside floor joists as the basis for our latest feats of daring. We strode across room spaces, from one beam to another. Then we went faster. Then we tried stepping on every second joist. The game and the gymnastic requirements became more daring and more stressful at each change in action. I think I had given up by the time Fay and the older kids were leaping across floor beams two at a time. There was a lot of yelling and a lot of laughter. But, just as Fay attempted some even more daring feat, her balance went out of kilter and she missed a beam by a few millimetres. The timber was there, but not quite where she had aimed. As the outer part of her foot slipped from the beam, she plummeted to the ground, with her thigh scraping all the way down the rough timber joist. Fay was a tough kid and we all knew it, so, as she began to cry, we knew she was in trouble. Hobbling home, with us all helping in whatever way we could, we watched in horror and the side of her leg began to weep. Not blood, but a clear liquid. The skin had been sliced off neatly as her thigh scraped past the timber. There was no particular medical treatment that could help and poor Fay was in a lot of pain for several days, with an anointed and gauze-bandaged leg. But the best part came when we inspected the wooden beam the next day and claimed to have found remnants of Fay’s ruffled skin on the offending timber.
Create your own unique website with customizable templates.