Wednesday, 15 October 2008


I have just been reminded of one of my favourite childhood toys: Quadro. Take a look at it. Have a quick explore of the site. Isn't that the most exciting construction toy you could imagine if you were in primary school? It was for me.

I had years of fun making the structures in the booklet, and designing and making my own. Two I remember particularly were a fort (I think) on two levels, which stayed in my bedroom for ages, and a horse (with wheels, so that it could be ridden on). That also stayed made for a very long time. He wasn't exactly a comfortable ride (although I made him a saddle and bridle), nor was he self-propelled (I needed a cooperative friend to make him move), but he was better than no horse at all.

I made him a tail, too - that was wool. It was a bit stringy, but I didn't get the impression that he minded. I drew his eyes and nostrils on with water-soluble crayons. Can you imagine what he looked like? I imagine that you can not - I can't imagine what I would imagine a Quadro horse to look like had I not owned one in the past. Let me enlighten you - he was rather cube-like, with plenty of squareness thrown in for good measure. Enlightened?

One day my friend Anna and I went out with him for a walk. We took him down a particularly bumpy road (not good - he had casters for wheels; they did not like the uneven surface), then down a pavement (not good - he had casters for wheels; they did not like the edges of the paving stones), then to the grassy park (not good - he had casters for wheels; they sank in the mud, then got lots of mud and grass caught in them). All in all, he was declared to be a somewhat disobedient horse. I did get the chance to use my hoof pick on his wheels when the mud dried, though.

I wasn't going to tell you his name; I was profoundly bad at picking names. However, he brought me so much pleasure (I really wanted a horse) that it seems disloyal not to do so.* He was called Souvenir (Souvie for short). At least I spelled it right - more than can be said for Dillan the hobby horse and Messanger the rocking horse. And Texbook the dog.


Today is Louise's 21st birthday. It seems a little pointless to say "Happy Birthday" to her here, as she does not read this blog, but she may do one day - I should make sure this is futureproof. So happy birthday, Louise. Wishing you many years of happiness and a suitable, lucrative career and the opporunity to live with the man of your dreams in a lovely house in London. Oh, and a good degree in the meantime.

*It could be argued that dismantling him was also disloyal. Alas, he was old and in pain. It would have been cruel to make him carry on like that, and I had to make the difficult decision to let him go to a better place.

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