Thinking about boxes

When I was younger, nothing delighted me more than receiving a parcel of ‘making things’ for a Birthday or for Christmas. Such a parcel would normally contain an essential packet of felt tips, some string, a small Pritstick, possibly some kiddy scissors, and most excitingly – my own roll of Sellotape (something that was given high regard in our house and was not to be wasted). Following such an occasion I would normally accompany my parents on their trip to the supermarket where I was allowed to scout out the crate of cardboard boxes left for customers whose purchases required transit in something sturdier than a plastic carrier bag. I would spend at least 15 minutes inspecting the various boxes as to their size and shape, and having chosen my perfect specimen, I would clutch it carefully (and with great pride) to my chest until I arrived home when work would begin….

Perched on a chair at the kitchen table, out would come my ‘making things’ parcel and given an hour or two my supermarket box would become a Sindy Castle, or a horse box for Roller Skating Ken’s show pony, or a hideout for my lego men or a hole would be cut in the front to make way for ‘Turner Television’ – much to the delight of my parents I’m sure, whom I remember being made to watch several broadcasts.

Admittedly none of my creations would have won any prizes for engineering, and normally within a couple of days the dog would have chewed off the sticky tape draw bridge from my fairy palace box, or my drinking straw ‘moon landing ladder’ and lemonade bottle ‘rocket pack’ would have fallen off of my spaceship (having never made it into orbit), and the whole thing would have to be binned – but that never mattered. Boxes were by far my most favourite thing to play with because they could become anything you wanted, just so long as you could think of it.

I have been told by many a person that you get on in life by thinking ‘outside the box’.

Maybe my problem is that I have spent too long pondering what I could make out of it.

Sitting beside me right now is an empty tissue box I am having problems parting with. It’s stripy and pink, and could look fabulous with just a dash of glitter and maybe some Quality Street wrappers (if I could get hold of some) taped around the side.

I’m sure Neil could do with a pen tidy….

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