Terra Cotta Temper Tantrum

I wasn’t what they called an easy child in the seventies. When I was a child I often blew my top in a fit when ever I got mad about something. And when that happened, my dad usually sent me off to the shed: “You go in there son to cool off! And you better not break any of those Terracotta flower pots in the back like you did last time!” And of course, speeding in there with a red mist in my eyes I went straight for the pots and smashed them at the wall, stamping my clogs on the pieces on the shed floor.

In most cases that did the trick, I calmed down almost instantly after that and was allowed to come back but only to hear my dad outside in a quasi-angry tone saying: “Thought I told you not to break any pots, didn’t I?” He could hardly contain himself and start laughing.

I didn’t know and had forgotten about it when the next day my dad used the red gravel to harden the garden path with it. It was his way of dealing with a boy with ADHD (little was known about that in those days as it hadn’t been¬†invented yet) and I had no clue he sent me in with that message on purpose.

Nicky Gumbel, a well known British pastor from London wrote on Twitter: “Direct your anger towards problems, not people.” and I might just pick up on his advice for that now that I’m grown up. There are enough problems that need dealing with nowadays. But sometimes I miss that pile of flower pots in the shed.

Here’s another childhood memory: barmy.