x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Time frame: Simpler games from a simpler time

The green movement has an element of nostalgia for simplicity.

How easy it was in the 1970s to go outside with a few empty tins, place them on their sides in two rows, line up the kids and shout:
How easy it was in the 1970s to go outside with a few empty tins, place them on their sides in two rows, line up the kids and shout: "Go!"

In last week's National on Saturday, we were encouraged to "go green" by reducing our use of those items that contribute to our carbon footprint, reusing materials and, lastly, recycling. In many ways, the inclination towards a more environmentally friendly or conscious lifestyle can be seen as a desire to live life more simply. Not to live in the past, of course; there's no need to bring back CFCs, lead paint and asbestos.

For example, the schoolyard obstacle course. How easy it was in the 1970s to go outside with a few empty tins, place them on their sides in two rows, line up the kids and shout: "Go!" Now, there'd almost certainly be governmental regulations about the use and disposal of the tins, a 10-point list of safety rules, or the ordering of specially made plastic and wood or metal hurdles, which would require any number of school custodial staffers to place them outdoors. Then there'd be parental permission forms to fill out … and of course those would have to be recycled.

Perhaps the obstacle course wasn't such a good idea. Anyone care for a 50-metre dash?

Time Frame is a series that opens a window into the nation's past. Readers are invited to make contributions to yourpics@thenational.ae