Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 8 September 2017

Make Do and Make Believe

Children have the ability, which sometimes as adults we lack, to imagine everyday objects into an adventure. As a parent and teacher I have witnessed chairs and tables being utilised to make dens, cars and boats. I have recollections of my own childhood, using my mother’s ‘clothes horse’ with sheets draped over, to make a tent, into which I would gather my favourite toys; teddies, dolls and books. On seaside holidays the sand could be shaped into anything we wished, not just a fairy castle or mermaid’s tail.

Am I being a mermaid here in 1955?  

My own children in the mid 1980s whilst visiting their grandparents, used cushions, chairs and a tennis racquet to fashion a car (or motor-boat) that would take them and a family of dolls of on a trip somewhere.

We built a ship upon the stairs
All made of the back-bedroom chairs,
And filled it full of sofa-pillows.
to go sailing on the billows.                 
Robert Louis Stevenson; A Good Play

By 2010 our twin grandchildrenwere sailing away in a sand boat, with beach spades for oars.

When I am in my ship I see
The other ships go sailing by.
A sailor leans and calls to me
As his ship goes sailing by.
Across the sea he leans to me,
Above the wind I hear him cry:
“Is this the way to Round-the-World?”
He calls as he goes by.
      A.A. Milne: Nursery Chairs

Where shall we adventure today that we’re afloat,
Wary of the weather and steering by a star?
Shall it be to Africa, a-steering of the boat,
To Providence, or Babylon, or off to Malabar?
Robert Louis Stevenson: Pirate Story

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is ‘Chldren Riding a make-Believe Horse’. They have used some objects (probably with adult help) to fashion a vaguely horse-like shape. I hope they didn’t try to feed their horse as he has a sharp muzzle! The little girl has a whip made of grass, but she seems to be unwittingly tickling her brother’s nose with the end of it.

City of Vancouver Archives. Public Domain


  1. At least you have spared the Sepians the image of me as a bearded mermaid!

    1. I have a feeling it’s too late; the Sepians will have seen that in an earlier post!

  2. You were very cute there in your sandy seat.

  3. Oh my heavens, I didn't look that closely at the prompt picture till now. The horse's head is a hatchet - an axe - isn't it? Good grief - as Charlie Brown would say! You made a cute little mermaid. :)

  4. Wonderful Photos Nell ! So true, children are far more creative & joyful than the elders.Long may it be so.

  5. Children having innocent fun - a great match for the prompt and I love the poems you feature.

  6. Lovely children and photos. Your choice of poems capture the brief moment in life that is childhood wonder. At the time we hardly knew we had it and now can't recall when we lost it.

  7. I never tried building a sand boat on the beach...it looks so great. Now I'll have to visit a beach again and see if I can get some children to do it for me!

  8. I do like all of your different photos. My son encourages his son to make things from boxes and I like that he does do that. He showed us a rocket ship the other day, with a drawbridge.


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