When’s the last time…

… you gave in to that secret ‘kidlet’ part of you, the part often buried deep down inside your ‘adult’ body?  I’ve just ‘tripped over’ the Red Swing Project Podcast, thanks to the our very own Bernadette Young and the team behind Perth’s Afternoons – ABC Local Radio.  If you ask me – there should be more of these type of projects out there – ‘randomly’ providing pleasure for all manner of ‘kids’ – needed or otherwise. Go on – go over and have a look – I’ll wait (click on the image below)…

the el- chicago, illinois, usa

So – what’d you think? I’ve got that wonderful little ‘Australianism’ “the duck’s nuts!” ringing in my ear! An absolutely brilliant concept – brought to us by Andrew – who developed the idea whilst completing his studies in America. I’m in awe of the bloke, a little idea grows and before you know it, others roll it out across so many different countries and communities it’d boggle your mind! A bit of wood, some rope – a lick of fire-engine-red paint – and Robert’s your mother’s brother. Frankly, that’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

I’m inspired.  So much so I’d like to go out and ‘guerilla’ me up some of these Red Swings myself. I’m all for people going about their day to day business, with a smile on the face. One of the things you might not know about remote and regional Australia is that there are a hell of a lot of very unhappy people living out there.  Most of these people live very basic lives – or – they live lives that are all about day to day survival and they do so simply because they have to, not always because they ‘want’ or deserve to.

The one thing they could possibly have in common with most other Australian’s in this country, is that they too need to smile; everyone – and I do mean everyone – should have moments they can smile about.  Regardless of where you sit in our bizarre Australian societal pecking order, you – like me – need to have yourself a really good laugh. A healthy laugh – one of those one wrapped about a notion of absolute joy – not those that often come at the expense of others.  If you’re not a happy person for at least one moment in your day (for the tiniest thing), you’re soon going to become an empty person.  A shade of your former self.

So you can’t eat a swing.  It wont make your community wealthy, it can’t bring back those you’ve lost and it won’t necessarily keep you safe from those who might prey upon you.  But it might make you smile. Just a simple moment – snatched back to you from all the times you couldn’t. Perhaps this isn’t much in the big scheme of things; a tiny insignificant little something to some perhaps, but it just might encourage you to step sideways for a ‘smally while’ and allow you the right to enjoy yourself, right under everyone else’s noses.  You could lose yourself maybe. You might remember yourself or, you could reinvent yourself and think free thoughts for a tiny slice of time. Wouldn’t that be an amazing thing?

I’ve never been part of a ‘Red Army’ before.  I wonder what my military mates might think of such a thing?  Not that I’m saying I am mind – nor am I telling you that I’ll be rushing right out to make many of these ‘Red Swings’ happen. Such a thing would be a confession of my intent and might be viewed by certain people as my being complicit in such an event (should it actually happen). I’d hate to think that my un-abashed admiration for such a project could incriminate me in this way – because that’d be a terrible shame. However, I can see how such a thing could attract certain followers, those who would love to ‘stick it to the man’ just a little in their lives. For all that, I could sure think of worse ways to go about doing it!

Look – I just like the notion and can see how easily it might make a small amount of difference in some peoples lives.  I can see too, those who might look down their noses at such a thing.  I could see a group of people sitting around a conference type table complaining about the ‘riff-raff’ that this type of project would bring. I can see – quite clearly – the actions certain authorities might take, to prevent such happy gatherings and moments from occurring and I know of at least one Law in this state that would be employed to spoil their fun.  It’s not that surprising here in WA – but I could see it happening all to easily.  We can’t be having youth gathering to enjoy themselves now because that’d be a public nuisance and cause nothing but trouble!

And all I can think of when I hear such things uttered by our ‘representatives’ in positions of power is:

What a bloody shame!

Belongum – Out!


About Belongum

People bring 'things' to me. Not necessarily PHYSICAL things as such - mostly just the loose bits and pieces floating around in their 'brain-box'. Sometimes, they also bring themselves - and THAT isn't anywhere near as simple as it sounds. I come here to pass some of this 'brain-box business' on to the ether world, and to empty my head. Besides folks - I love a good yarn - so come and join me!
This entry was posted in ABC, ABC Local Radio, adults, Australia, child, Christmas, culture, dad, Family, good, good samaritan, Happy, life, Local Radio Perth, Mum, Need, people, Red Swing Projects, Society, summer, tale, true story, Western Australia, yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When’s the last time…

  1. Cellobella says:

    It’s like the improv everywhere group – trying to bring back spontaneity and fun to our everyday lives.

    Love the idea.

    Bet the councils hate it. 🙂

    I reckon you’re spot on CB… I think the councils and shires would be beside themselves if they thought some play equipment guerilla-ing was likely to go on.

    Let’s not tell them shall we? 😉


  2. bennymay says:

    beats monkey bars

    one of the best blog-pages ever!


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