My friend J and I were at the gym this week watching a young woman doing a sort of upside-down swing from some high parallel bars.
I wasn't impressed. "I did that when I was a kid on the jungle gym at Bell Block School," I said to J.
"But she's so good at it." J was truly impressed.
"Bell Block School," I repeated, with a wave of dismissal at the woman on the high bars. "I was great on their jungle gym."
"We never had a jungle gym at Mora Road Primary," said J. And, gooodness, did I see my friend wiping away a sad tear as she thought back to her British upbringing?
"Oh,you poor thing," I commiserated. A school without a jungle gym was surely the playground from hell.
J brightened. "We had a maypole!"
And it was then that I had a vision of every kiwi kid in the country gratefully thanking the Gods of the Playground that they never had to dance around a maypole with their little mitts tightly clutching multi-coloured dangling streamers...