How Much?

I saw two of these today and I remembered… 

I stand on the corner, excitement growing.

I lick my pencil, turn to a clean page in my red, lined notebook.

And the waiting begins.

I’m  about eight years old and I’m  collecting coach names and numbers.

We’re all doing it, cheering as a new one comes into view, one we haven’t got.

There were so many coaches on our roads back then. We hardly had time to scribble down the name and number before another took its place. We’d compare notes later, arranging to do it all again tomorrow.

We collected lots of things in the 50’s –

  • pictures of film stars, carefully cut from mum’s magazines
  • shells from our annual holidays, complete with the smell of the sea
  • stones with holes in – they were lucky
  • ladybirds
  • caterpillars in a jam jar with some leaves
  • wild flowers to press under a heavy book
  • tiddlers caught in the stream
  • four leaf clovers
  • conkers
  • flower petals to make ‘perfume’ (yuk…)


 I can’t remember what we did with the coach names and numbers – and as for those poor caterpillars…

It was the  fun in the act of ‘collecting’, adding to the list, finding another lucky stone.

We’d hang on to our collection until another one caught our imaginations.

‘How quaint!’ I hear you cry. ‘Children don’t do that any more!’

Oh yes they do!

What about these?

Children collect-

  • games to play on their X-box
  • invitations to ever more elaborate birthday parties
  • football stickers at great expense to their parents
  • designer trainers
  • the latest games for their Wii
  • designer sweatshirts
  • laptops
  • the latest phone

Until the novelty wears off and a new ‘must have’ comes along.

All these cost money. Lots of it.

Can you think of anything that children collect nowadays that’s free?

I’m lucky to live near a lane where there are many wild flowers.

This evening I shall go and pick some for the kitchen table.

The Beatles sang about the best things in life being free.

What do you think?

Are they right?


Filed under expectation, happiness, hope, persistence, positive

2 responses to “How Much?

  1. Carol Donaldson

    Bird song (especially Blackbirds – i.e. the Beatles again) is my favourite thing, along with the smell of roses and of all things privet in flower….

    We can see the sea is at the top of our drive, watching the waves crash on the rocks where we walk the dogs every morning is wonderful….. even saw a pod of dolphins last year and some whales a couple of months ago. …. all free

    • I worry that so many people are in such a rush that they don’t stop to notice the small stuff, Carol.
      And, no, it’s not an age thing – I’ve always noticed these things, since childhood.

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