Please can I have my trampoline back?

Posted July 22, 2016

Please can I have my trampoline back?

Next door has bought a trampoline. 

Little heads now bob in and out of vision above the fence line just as I’m settling down to a relaxing al fresco breakfast, lunch or evening meal. Hello. Can you see me? is the constant refrain. Yes, I certainly can!

When the weather is this good (curse the heatwave!), it’s possible to trampoline all day long. At the crack of dawn, say on a Sunday morning, when some of us - the ones without children - are enjoying a lie in. In the middle of the afternoon. Early evening too. Trampolining is the play activity that keeps on giving.

Whatever happened to swings? They were much more sedate. There was no shrieking or squealing when you were on a swing. Or see-saws? You were so focussed on gripping the plank, trying not to be catapulted off, that you rarely uttered a sound. Apart from the time you landed face down on a concrete paving slab - you might have bawled then. You might still have the squiffy nose that resulted from that childhood mishap.

My neighbours on the other side also have a trampoline in their garden. When both sets of kids happen to be kangaroo bounding in symphony, they call across to each other. I’m caught in the middle. Can you see me? gets very confusing at this point. I swivel my head back and forth to check if they’re addressing me, or their trampoline buddies. I’d hate for either side to think I’m ignoring them. That would be rude. 

Trampolines have appeared in gardens, across the world, like a rash. On my last visit to Reykjavik they were everywhere, which surprised me. At the time, I joked about the first Arctic storm whipping them all away. Sure enough, not long after I returned home, I read of the ‘Night of the Flying Trampolines’. High winds had wreaked havoc across the city. Trampolines smashed into cars, ended up in trees and on roof tops or wrapped around lamp posts.

I live on the highest point of my village. At times, it can get very windy here too. Last year the storms took the tiles off my roof, not once but twice. 

What are the chances that at some point I’ll hear a plaintive, “Please can I have my trampoline back?” as a heartbroken face stares up at my chimney pot. 

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