When you’re little and exploring, most things occur to you just by chance, such as discovering that if you threw and smashed a light bulb, it exploded, albeit more like a pop. Nevertheless, it could be pretended that you were throwing grenades.
Another balmy summer day, another game of soldiers. When we’d sorted who was going to be who, we could begin. Sticks for guns, usually, we’d expel a hundred different noises from our throats to give effect to our pistols, machine guns and bazookas. Grenades too would have to be suitably vocalised.
It wasn’t often that I’d team up with my next up older brother in any game – not only because if he lost, he’d simply hit me but, because at most things he was more than a little competitive. For instance, if we were running alongside one another, I could expect to be tripped at the very least so he could get ahead. Usually though, he’d make certain, drag me down to the floor, thump me a couple of times, then scarper; a few yards up the street he’d be raising and waving his arms in victorious, gauche smugness.
Tea time and we’d eat with haste, eager to get outside to join our friends for a pre-arranged tumult. And while we tucked into victoria sponge or ginger cake and custard, we quietly discussed an idea; if we could find some lightbulbs, we’d have the best grenades ever.
I’ll never quite understand how we did it but we managed to pilfer away a good few bulbs, a good few boxes from the pantry and every single bulb from every lamp and light fitting from the upstairs rooms.
We had a fantastic, albeit short time with our grenades, although mum and dad were not in the least bit impressed with our ingenuity…surprisingly.