Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Thinking inside the box

It took the movers a whopping three months to send our boxes from London to New Mexico. To their credit, the road between these two destinations isn't well-trod, or even paved.

Cardboard reef shark. 
Three months was long enough for me to forget about everything I ever owned. This made opening up the boxes a bit like Christmas, except that my taste in stuff is considerably more naff than I had remembered. 

So while I didn't remember owning three copies of "Heart of Darkness", a sudden glut of leftover book boxes triggered the memory of a magical childhood week that I once spent lost in a vast cardboard city. 

That autumn, back in the mists of time, my lovely kindergarten teacher took it upon herself to collect a sea of boxes in all shapes and sizes. There were probably about twenty boxes, but my child-mind remembers thousands. She filled the school courtyard, and her lucky kids were given run of the place, to create our own civilization. 

We made roads, houses, shops and a market square. We even designed some suspiciously European public transportation networks. It was utopia by five-year olds, and it was a blast. 

So this autumn, I knew what to do with my leftover boxes. They have become a bright cardboard reef, teeming with imaginary life, in the back garden. 

The crickets have an orange house. The bunny rabbits have a white house. Ginger Cat has a pink house. And Cookie Banane, who is visiting Box City from the Sun, has full run of the place. 

Playing in boxes was easier when I was a shorty in kindergarten. I'm nearly six feet tall now, but if I curl up tight, really dust off my imagination, and mutter "there's no place like home", I find myself returned full circle to the Box City of my childhood.

If to go far is to return, then glitter paint must be really important in the scheme of things.


  1. Sweet memories!

  2. What fun! Three months though, wow. I'm glad it all finally arrived :) x

  3. Love it! :) What a wonderful idea.
    We miss Ginger Cat. Pigeons in Regents Park are becoming a nuisance again.

  4. Cheers to great teachers!

  5. Hah! And we miss Regents Park...trade ya for a day??

  6. It's an eternity right? By month two-and a half we'd replaced all the useful stuff anyway...

  7. Indeed - what would we be without them :)