When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
Okay okay – I’m exaggerating a little bit. In fact, it’s a barefaced lie – we were well looked after my brother and sisters and I. But the bit about inventing The Game of Risk is true.
I did it by opening out some empty cereal boxes and sellotaping them together. On the blank inside sides I drew up a map of the world, divided into regions. Kamchatka – my favourite – was there of course. Madagascar was a secure deadend niche. Indonesia was the gateway to Australasia.
The soldiers, cannon and cavalry were little cut out cardboard counters rather than factory moulded plastic figurines. But hey, cut me some slack why don’t you. I was only wee.
So – game created – we played it. And this prototype lasted for ages and worked very well.
This isn’t about the furious row, nor the racism (real or imagined) that preceded it, nor the burning at the stake that followed it. It’s about the unexpected good thing that happened next. Continue reading →
Blackwatertown - the blog & the book - are by Paul Waters. (So is The Obituarist.) I present a podcast & radio show called We'd Like A Word with Stevyn Colgan. It's about books, authors, publishers, readers, editors, agents, illustrators, poets, script writers & lyricists. The podcast is at https://anchor.fm/wed-like-a-word or wherever you get your podcasts. And the website is www.wedlikeaword.com or on social media @wedlikeaword
I also make other radio, TV & podcasts. Leave a comment or email me at paulwaters99 at hotmail.com Thanks for reading. Paul