So, the other week, when the normally ‘cred’ obsessed teenagers in my library all started scrambling for the safe higher ground – ie, the modular library seating – to spontaneous shrieks of, “The floor is lava!”, I thought nothing of it. To be honest I was actually rather impressed with their inventiveness, imagination and independence of thought. Ha! Silly me.
Not to put a downer on things (Much!) but it’s just so…meh; that this is just another internet craze, social media ‘challenge,’ fad, whathaveyou… Am I just getting old?
For me, playing The Foor is Lava, transports me back to a time when I sat transfixed, watching Brian Cant on Play School and – as The Guardian so beautifully puts it – listened to him tell, “the stories of Trumpton without cynicism or irony.” Oh yes. Could anyone who lived it ever forget,“Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb”? 😀
The wonderful Mr Cant has, of course, sadly just died. For anyone wishing to read a fitting tribute, I would heartily recommend the aforementioned Guardian article.
I vividly recall how programmes like Play School and the Trumptonshire trilogy – Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley – and Cant’s mesmerising voice, served as a springboard into imagination play activities, like The Floor is Lava. Because imagination was king.
Is this why I don’t find the current reboot of my childhood game remotely funny, not now that I know it’s just another Instagram/Snapchat challenge? Is it the lack of imagination, of self-driven creativity that bothers me? I’m sure I’m as much of a ‘sheeple’ as the next person so it’s not disdain I’m feeling; not exactly…
Whatever the truth of it, I just wanted to say, thank you, Mr Cant. For the stories, the memories – and for my abiding belief in imagination.