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It pays to play. Friday December 26, 2014

Recently I was driving to college and I suddenly realised that I was feeling happy. Not laugh out loud happy, but that I had a deep contentment that I had not felt for many years.

I started to try and work out why I felt like this. I realized that it was because I had spent the morning playing with mud and that I had been covered in it and I didn't care.

It took me back to my childhood where, as a tomboy, I would spend many happy hours climbing trees, scrambling through woods and making mud "casseroles" out of mud, leaves and grass.

On my favourite website ( someone posed a question recently about how they could stop their 11 year old from playing with childish toys and "grow up". I was pleased to see that all the answers were along the line of why?? Play is so important to us. We learn new experiences and/or we have a chance to get away from our cares and concerns for a while. I think that it is important not to lose ourselves too much in being the "adult" and give ourselves a break once in a while.

Oh, and if you are wondering what on earth I was doing playing with mud - I was processing it in to usable clay for an art project, but by the time I had finished I had mud on me, the patio, the path and over a lot of the plants in the garden as well... It was Sooo much fun!

A Moodscope member.

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Hopeful One Fri, Dec 26th 2014 @ 6:16am

Hi Penny- thanks for your blog which produced these thoughts in my mind.Could it be that you found contentment because you stumbled across a 'refuge 'which allowed you to move away from the trial and tribulations of your life if only for a while?. I think we could all benefit if we created such refuge places or spaces for ourselves. These could be anything really- a place , an activity , a book or ,as in my case ,my daily diary. For me the act of putting down my thoughts ,ideas, my hopes , my ambitions and a things of interest or things that happened to in the past day good or bad always results in a degree of contentment. What about my fellow Moodscopers ? What is YOUR refuge?

Julia Fri, Dec 26th 2014 @ 10:05am

Hi Penny
My son (no longer a teenager and living at the opposite end of the country from us, works at a University) when he visits, is always creeping up behind me and making me jump or sticking his leg out and pretending to do some sort of karate move on me. It always makes me laugh, really laugh out loud. It's very silly and childish behaviour on both our parts but it's not often enough that I can play silly games and feel totally daft. I loved your blog today Penny. I think I know just how you felt being covered in mud but I shall keep this secret from my son; don't want him to get ideas into his head!

Mary Blackhurst Hill Fri, Dec 26th 2014 @ 12:58pm

We spend our summers down on the Essex coast, next to beach that is more mud flats than sand. One of the children's favourite activities is making mud slides, from which they invariably emerge, like some primeval swamp beasts from a B movie, plastered from head to foot in grey, slimy, foul smelling mud. We have an outside hose especially for the purpose of rinsing the worst off before they enter the shower. Any visiting children are subjected to this activity as part of their initiation (visiting parents are sometimes taken aback at this). It seems to make the children very happy; at least, we take the shreiks to be thiose of happiness and fortunately are far enough away not to be able to hear the words contained in the shreiks!

Anonymous Fri, Dec 26th 2014 @ 1:34pm

Lol, lol, lol Penny! Such fun to be had with mud and you too Mary! Wish I could be a kid at your house by the beach of mud! One of my favourite things is singing with my daughter, in the kitchen, when I'm cooking...lovely when we go completely wrong and just can't stop laughing! I also used to love teaching my Mum daft songs with the wrong words to them...she loved the Magic Moments version the best! Wish I ciukd sing it to her today :/
To Moodscopers: Hope you were all able to find a happy and/or peaceful place yesterday.

Julia Fri, Dec 26th 2014 @ 1:42pm

Dear Hopeful One. Your idea sounds a good one, to ask us what our refuge would be. You should write a bog about this. I think Caroline would be pleased to receive one from you. If you feel inspired, email Caroline at...
I hope you enjoyed Christmas day and best wishes for a peaceful 2015

Anonymous Fri, Dec 26th 2014 @ 10:15pm

I agree with Julia...perhaps you have the beginning of something there. Love ratg x.

Anonymous Fri, Dec 26th 2014 @ 10:17pm

Mud makes me think of being wee and playing with worms...banging on the ground trying to get them to pop up. Thank you Penny for that mind break, love ratg x.

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