So, I made my mind up. I’ve done quite a few travel-related posts on this little journey of mine and ‘N’ is going to be about somewhere else and, as a result, I thought I’d go with this. London holds a very special place in my heart and always will but I have decided to go with Lego.
Lego, which has been around since 1949, was one of my toys of choice when I was a child. Did you know? Up to 2015, 600 billion Lego bricks had been manufactured. Neither did I until I looked it up on Wikipedia!
I had LOADS of it. Boxes and boxes of bricks and base plates and people. I like to think that it really contributed to developing my creativity in the fact that I was always building stuff and acting out stories with it. I remember having a magazine when I was about 9 or 10 years old that showed this massive Lego village that had been built and it was all lit up with streetlights and lights on in houses; it just looked beautiful and I wanted to recreate it. There was also some set that someone had built inside a cardboard box that had been painted to look like the inside of a cave, again with lights strung around and buildings on different levels. I didn’t have the skill or resources to recreate any of this stuff but it fired my imagination, that’s for sure.
I built a massive armoured bus once. I don’t know what the inspiration for that could have been. Maybe that old film: The Big Bus combined with some Mad Max 2 (don’t know how I’d seen that at that age but hey!)
My favourite stuff was definitely the old Space Lego. This was long before there were any Star Wars models so they were completely original designs. These are some of the sets I had:
This next one I had two of. They had little cargo bays underneath and I used to imagine it was a little spacefreight operation, delivering bits and pieces (red and blue *crystals* usually).
I updated the fleet with one of these:
This was there in order to defend the transport ships from attack. I then got hold of this:
This was the command base for my operations. There were a few more bits I wanted, but by then I was growing out of it a bit. I was spending a lot more time on my ZX Spectrum 48k (Atic Atac anyone?). I wish I had all that stuff today for the boy. It’s so expensive these days!
So, I didn’t do anything with Lego for many years after that. It’s only when I became a Primary School teacher that I found a way to bring it back into my life. I was looking for inventive things to do with Year 6 after their SATs one year and I happened upon the stop motion feature of the Digital Blue cameras we had in school. It allowed me to work with the children on creating a huge village where everyone contributed a building. They brought in minifigures and toys and we set to work creating an animation. It took about three days to do each one, with me constantly reminding them about making small adjustments to the people so it didn’t look too jumpy. This became a yearly tradition in Year 6 until the Digital Blues we had became obsolete. I reserved the right to choose the soundtrack each year and put them all on YouTube so that the children could see them.
And here they are, in all their glory:
Having lived in the South of England for nearly 25 years now, I finally managed to get to LEGOLAND in Windsor a few weeks ago. That was great. The details in the models there are fantastic and there was a whole Star Wars section that is well worth seeing.
I’m now waiting for my son, Michael, to grow into Lego himself so I can watch him have as much fun with it as I did.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this, then please check out my other entries in the Blogging from A to Z challenge here: