I TAKE OUR TODDLER to the local playground and wonder if it's not part of an endangered species. It's a modern (and somewhat scruffy) playground with swings, modified monkey bars, and sponge mats instead of sand or concrete. No see-saws, no merry go rounds, and no tyres on fat ropes. In Cashel where we play, we have fun-sucking safety-improved low rise apparatus with short drops and safety railings. What's a fun-loving pre-teen supposed to do with his excess energy? When I was nine years old, I went down a very high slide (we called it a sliding board in my hometown) and it was so slippery I hit the tarmacadam at the bottom and embedded gravel into my butt. It was embarrassing to have my mom pick little stones out of my buttocks. I have been scarred for life and wonder if the Statute of Limitations has expired.
I believe public playgrounds are an endangered species, like drive-in theatres, waitresses on roller skates, and payphones. We're enjoying all those things while we can still find them.
Video shot with SonyEricsson Xperia X10 mobile phone in Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland.