An ode of gratitude to Parks and Crackers

I mean it

You guys rock, take a bow,  you small but amazing wonders.

This summer has reminded me that you, my friends, are lifesavers. And lifesavers is the right word-you were there at the beginning of my walking and eating life and you are still here now. Like the circle of life, instead of picturing Rafiki holding up a baby Simba at Pride Rock-imagine me holding up a park swing in one arm and a packet of Jacobs cream crackers. I know…it’s poignant.

The park-providing endless entertainment, fitness and shelter since way back when someone declared a space a common ground for the purpose of play.

As a child, the park provided space for dens, secret conversations, 40/40 bases,  honing my once ok acrobatic skills by twirling around bars. It was the place all the kids on my street gathered on lazy summer afternoons competing on made up assault courses. For a short while we lived near a park with an outside pool-honestly magical! Sure I may have been naive to all the wee, snot and other bodily fluids-but to me the water was pure gold! (Now as I take my daughter to the outside pool-I just try and get there early because it gets refilled everyday and drained at night).

As a teen we gathered after school, summarising the days happenings and who we fancied, attempted to smoke made-up cigarettes (kitchen roll and tea leaves a rollup does not make), and first/second kisses, working out under the monkey bars the probability that you will marry/snog/be lovers with some celebrity and drink stolen alcohol from parents supplies.

So much of my nostalgia is found in being in the park.

And this summer I have rekindled that love, as Faith becomes more and more adventurous-the park is the BEST place, allowing her to keep trying new things…she has her eyes set on the zip wire atm. It, of course, also is the setting for many a fall, graze, bump-and lots more mini panics from me as she hurtles herself across a climbing frame, believing she is much older/bigger/able than reality dictates.

But she loves it, and I love it. I still love a swing and a climbing frame and most definite;y a splash park…where I pretend I am doing my motherly duty paddling in but actually I am in my element. I realised after a recent trip to London that roundabouts can still be vicious-esp after 2 glasses of wine and a 4 year old trying to show off his ability to spin you faster than a fair ground ride.

Parks-you are the best! (So much so there is the most amazing comedy series based on you: Parks and Recreation FYI)

Not sure what to have for lunch-seem to have nothing in the fridge but a bit of cheese and a slightly soft apple. But then you go to your food cupboard and see ‘Crackers’. There are always crackers in our cupboard because Mike is obsessed with having a cheese board and an array of crackers (even when we are broke we have crackers and cheese).

And then my friends you realise that crackers, cheddar and an apple are a winning combination and you are in for one brilliant lunch that I believe is balanced and delicious.

Crackers take a very long time to go off (if kept in an air tight container) and just come in such a brilliant range. I have not found a cracker I don’t enjoy-obviously I have my faves;

  • Crackerbread
  • Ryvita
  • Jacobs Cream Crackers
  • Oat cakes (for when you’re feeling healthy)
  • The Dr Kargs emmental and pumpkin seed (for when you’re being super posh)
  • Ritz (for those retro moments)
  • Cheddars which I find are always appropriate
  • and finally those Wheat thins…beautiful

These beauties have all seen me through many a summer lunch. My daughter will eat most things with a cracker…any dip, soft cheese and salad combo. It has been a delight!

Crackers and Parks…serving me well since 1985-I was born the year before but pretty certain I didn’t indulge in either until ’85.

I just wanted to say thanks

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