Mud Pies

Back in my early childhood money was pretty tight and post war austerity was in full swing. Enjoying life meant making use of whatever was available. We lived in a place where the subsoil was thick, oolery gloopery clay. Now that clay was a perfect plaything for a small boy. With that clay you could be a bit of a potter. My parents always said I was making mud pies. And here I am, back in 1952, mixing some clay with water in an old jam jar.

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No doubt I had plans to mould a little dish out of the clay – not unlike early pots that were moulded into shape by hand. But as a mere child of pre-school age I had no access to adequate firing techniques. All I could do was leave my items in the sun to dry out a bit. And at that point they crumbled away, returning to the clay from which they had been made.

But I persisted, enjoying the process of producing that smooth slippery clay – and no doubt getting filthy in the process.

And that would have meant more clothes for mum to hand-wash, for luxuries like washing machines were well in the future back then.

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