I was a sickly child. Asthma often kept me at home, stripped of energy, though rarely bedridden. These were the days before daytime TV as we know it - just news, Watch With Mother and sometimes a film.
So days at home we spent reading or playing with my Britains farm models - especially the horses and riders.
I still read vocariously, though now not always because it's the only thing that doesn't sap my strength. Those farm animal toys are now collectable, and I have probably more of them than I had as a child, though some elude me. Little gifts my Nan bought me to cheer me up - the chimps tea party and the milkman, pony and cart for instance, now go for huge sums on eBay. There are even scale models made especially for collectors - I think a spin off from war games scene makers, and I confess to adding to my collection from those. I mean, if some grown men can get away with train sets.......
So here I am. Stuck at home, immobile for the next few weeks. Much of my time will be spent reading and writing, but I also have tv, dvds and the internet. Even so, I feel frustrated by being stuck indoors. I feel like I have been separated from the real world. Looking out of the window at the woods, listening to neighbours in the street if anything makes it worse.
Not really a huge fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, apart from one small passage in Treasure Island, when Ben Gunn is asked what he has done with all the time spent alone and he replies "Dreaming of cheese, mainly toasted", and this poem. I can identify with both, fully.:
The Land of CounterpaneWhen I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.
Robert Louis Stevenson