Category: love language library

rainbow skipping rope

England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales Inside, Outside, puppy dogstails

A constant refrain of my playground days and I remember setting up two dining room table chairs to practice at home as well. Because once you succeed at ankle height you get to move up through ‘kneesies’ and ‘underbums’ through up to ‘necksies’ if you were really good. And then you got to go to the next rhyme… or the next move… Diamonds?! I can’t even remember how that went… skipping, clapping games, knucklebones… 80s playground mash up… GO!

Down down baby, down by the rollercoaster. sweet sweet baby, I will never let you go shimmy shimmy cocoa puff, shimmy shimmy pow! shimmy shimmy cocoa puff, shimmy shimmy pow!

On top of spaghetti
All covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball
When somebody sneezed

It rolled off the table
Right on to the floor
And then my poor meatball
Rolled out of the door.

Bubbles go haatchi tachi (knee, knee, flick)…

you are my darling…

Bubbles…  hatchi tatchi

Bubbles… hatchi tatchi

Bubbles… hatchi tatchi (getting faster and faster until someone breaks the rhythm)



Under the bambushes under the sea Boom boom boom boom
True love for you my darling
True love for me

When we get married
We’ll raise a family
With 16 children all in a
Row row row your boat Gently down the stream, Fling your teacher overboard And listen to her scream.

Under the bambushes
Under the sea
Bom bom bom
True love for you my darling True love for me

When we get married we’ll raise a family A boy for you
And a girl for me
I-tiddly-I-tie sexy


Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?
[Name] stole the cookies from the cookie jar. Who me?
Yes you!
Couldn’t be!
Then who stole the cookies from the cookie jar ?…


Concentration, concentration, now begin Keep the rhythm, keep the rhythm moving. Start now… 1 -2, 2-8, 8-4…


Out of breath? Me too. Apparently you have more energy when you’re 8…

The characters in this story are 5 and 6 but it is WAY to scary for kids that age (Badjelly turns kids into sausages).  Spike Mulligan does all the voices in this creative and absurd story and there’s a fairly intense soundtrack (fyi his work was a big influence on the Monty Python crew).  Essentially little kids Tim and Rose wander into the woods after their lost cow Lucy and meet various enchanted woodland characters like Binklebonk and Mudwiggle…  OMG a rumour website tells me Tim Burton might be making this into a movie 2020 – that could be fun… stinkypoo and knickers of fun.

Folks might also remember one of his most famous nonsense poems and a good example of his style:

On the Ning Nang Nong 

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There’s a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can’t catch ’em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
cause it’s the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong

Aah, like so many of the great lights of comedy it seems Spike struggled with nervous breakdowns and depression… this piece is called “Manic Depression” and is very evocative. Vale Spike Mulligan – we are grateful for your silliness and sensitivity and the gift of your art.

The pain is too much
A thousand grim winters
       grow in my head.
In my ears
        the sound of the
             coming dead
All seasons, all same
        all living
        all pain
No opiate to lock still
        my senses.
Only left, the body locked tenser.


Stephen cosgrove serendipity books fawn woodland animalsIf nurture (per the nature/nurture debate) is to be weighed with me then the moralistic Serendipity book series by Stephen Cosgrove might have something to answer for. I recall a box full of them, a rainbow of spines, and particular favourites I asked for on repeat – perhaps some morals I was more interested in cultivating than others. 

It’s the illustrations that bring the series to mind now more than the stories. Something of a vibrant, sumptuousness, with their wide-eyed woodland creatures and forests. 

The wiki entry for the series has a list of the lessons from fairly basic ideas such as “You are special” and “Don’t take more than you need” to things that seem complex to think on explaining to a child now… “when we exaggerate everything, we forget what the truth is” and “fear of losing what you have can rob you of the joy of sharing”.  Though my adult brain wants to presume they’d be trite to read now maybe they still have something to say after all that would speak yet to our times.

Incidentally, one of the fun things about rummaging through my brain archives and trying to find sources for half-forgotten stories is learning things I never knew about them in the first place such as that these books inspired episodes of an anime series in 1983 combined in a movie here.  I’ve just watched the first 20 mins and I’m not seeing much resemblance but you know… fascinating.



Talitha Fraser Hannah Fraser pink bunsThis is me with my very best kindy friend Hannah. I remember reading to her sometimes… Meg & Mog or Spot books. I imagine she thought I could read, I’m pretty sure I thought I could too but I’m certain now I only thought I could and had just memorised them off by heart.

The anticipation of lift-the-flap books and the sound effects of Meg’s spells going wrong…

“Fog in a bog, Bat in a hat,
Snap, crackle, pop And fancy that…   BOOM!”

…height of entertainment when you’re 4!

Now, Where’s Spot? And where’s my pink sticky bun.





As I recall I came across Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack Mack in one of the School Journals … oh, man, school journals! The author of this piece seems to be unknown but this is a suggested origin… “slave children were taught corn ditties (the original name for Negro spirituals) to take their young minds off harsh plantation life. They would work & clap their hands in rhythm while singing.  Miss Mary Mack was symbolic in that the Merrimack was an ironclad Union ship coming to fight the confederate army. It built with rivets (silver buttons) & ships have always been referred to as females. There is also symbolism behind asking her mother (the Confederate States of America) for fifty cents (a metaphor for change) to see the elephants (symbol of the Republican party who “freed the slaves”) jump the fence (Mason-Dixon line).”  


Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back.

She asked her mother, mother, mother
For 50 cents, cents, cents
To see the elephants, elephants, elephants
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.

They jumped so high, high, high
They reached the sky, sky, sky
And they didn’t come back, back, back
‘Til the 4th of July, ly, ly!


Here’s a cute Dad and Daughter video if you want to teach/learn the clapping routine…


Amelia Bedelia gets a job as a maid and, although she’s well-meaning and tries her best she gets everything wrong  (by following the instructions literally) and then is forgiven because she bakes.  

I see a lot of myself in her.

It’s dated, but I definitely identified with poor Amelia Bedelia getting things wrong all the time… like the time I said scathingly if I won Lotto I wouldn’t spend the money on a pool because it came from ‘a total prize pool of…’ obviously I’d already have a pool and want to send the money on something else.  Or when I was told what someones birthday present would be and entrusted to keep it secret, I could somehow never manage to keep the secret if they said they’d keep it too, somehow that made complete sense to me and I’d inevitably spoil the surprise. There was definitely a moratorium on telling me anything for a few <cough> years there.

The same way children delight in the seeming magic of the Knock, Knock joke. This was some of my first exposure to the idea of words having different meaning depending on your perspective because Amelia Bedelia wasn’t technically incorrect but was somehow always in the wrong… Oh Amelia Bedelia.


Morningtown Ride

My Mum used to sing to us at bedtime, here’s a throw-back… and if you’re a bit over Twinkle Twinkle maybe you can add this to your repertoire… all bound for Morningtown, many miles away…



Train whistle blowin’
Makes a sleepy noise
Underneath the blankets
For all the girls and boys

Rockin’ rollin’ ridin’
Out along the bay
All bound for Morningtown
Many miles away

Driver at the engine
Fireman rings the bell
Sandman swings the lantern
To show that all is well

Rockin’ rollin’ ridin’
Out along the bay
All bound for Morningtown
Many miles away

Maybe it is raining
Where our train will ride
All the little travellers
Are warm and snug inside

Rocking, rolling, riding
Out along the bay
All bound for Morningtown
Many miles away

Somewhere there is sunshine
Somewhere there is day
Somewhere there is Morningtown
Many miles away

Rocking, rolling, riding
Out along the bay
All bound for Morningtown
Many miles away

Rocking, rolling, riding
Out along the bay
All bound for Morningtown
Many miles away

Songwriter: M. Reynolds, performed here by The Seekers



fitzroy autumn black cat on the desk at the window looking out

Special guest: Jelly

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

by Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long have we tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in the wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

‘Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.


silhouette of tree night sky with moon

wendy craig record children's hour

The original poem is by Eugene Field, I grew up listening to this sung version by Wendy Craig on a record… yes, yes I am that old.  


Wynken and Blynken and Nod
One night sailed off in a wooden shoe
Sailed in a river
Of crystal light into a sea of dew

Now where are you going?
And what do you wish?
The old moon asked of the three
Well, we’re going out fishing
For herring fish
That live in the beautiful sea

Nets of silver
And gold have we said
Wynken and Blynken and Nod

The old moon laughed
And sang a song
As they rocked in their wooden shoe
And the wind that sped them
All night long ruffled the waves of dew

Well the little stars were the herring fish
That lived in the beautiful sea
Now cast your nets
Wherever you wish
Never as feared are we
So sang the stars
To the fisherman three
Wynken and Blynken and Nod



And storytime with Wendy, with fairytales and fables from different countries around the world  (45mins) because 1) it took a while to find the above recording and I found this along the way and had all the feels remembering listening to it and 2)  Ewungelema