If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know my husband and I have taken over an allotment this year. It had been worked and abandoned by several people in the past few years and so it has needed a fair bit of sorting out. That’s still in progress, but we’re not displeased with what we’ve managed to grow for our consumption in this first year.
As an artist, as well as fruit and veg, I’ve a mind to cultivate plants for dyeing purposes and have several waiting to go in, as soon as the beds are dug.
Digging, o how I love it! Truly. Not the least of it is that as well as an allotmenteer, I’m an archaeologist. I’ve so far dug up a fair bit of china, rusty nails (excellent for rust-dyeing fabrics and papers) and some bits of clay pipe (including a nice bit of a pipe bowl with a fluted design round the rim).
It’s a comment on the times that my greatest stash is a huge number of green plastic toy soldiers. They’re everywhere. Here’s a small unit.
I’m always in a dilemma about toys like this. Is it promoting warmongering? Making war seem a game? Or is it good to play war games because there will always be a need for soldiers, to defend the country from attack?
The same day I found a big horde of them in a container of rubbish, I got shot.
A small boy levelled a large plastic gun at me and pulled the trigger. Out shot a three-inch hard plastic bullet. It landed on one of my feet. He had a companion, a girl. She had an identical gun. From a matter of feet away, she levelled it at my face. “That’s dangerous!” I said, quickly, adding, “it’s a very hard object.” I was quite abrupt and some people gave me a strange look, but I was alarmed at the idea of having a largish piece of plastic shot into my face.
When I told my husband, he said he’d earlier watched the boy’s father giving each of the kids a gun. The boy had loaded his, then said, “Right! Let’s find a cat!” The man then showed the girl how to load a bullet.
Good parenting? What do you think? Is there a difference between playing a game of war with plastic soldiers and teaching kids how to shoot a plastic gun (at cats and folks, either will do, evidently?) I’d like to know.
I nuked the soldiers, as you can see.