We had what could loosely be described as roller-skates although they were little more than rusty bear traps on wheels. Health and safety consisted of a loose strap across the foot and a parents neglectful shrug.
We had a wheelbarrow, a wooden sledge that rumour has it helped in the construction of Stonehenge, a tricycle that in reality was a bike with a missing stabiliser, and my favourite of them all, a skateboard.
Back in the day I was a champion skateboarder in all but honours. I was fast. Very fast. The skate-parks of New York beckoned, I was ready to take on the world, until one fateful morning in 1981 when my fledgling career came to an abrupt halt.
There I stood atop the steepest hill on our cul-de-sac. My helmet was on, I’d adjusted my elbow and knee pads, the crowd were chanting my name, I was ready to go, and then …
“Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark …. Mark, I think you’re meant to stand up on it!”
What, really? You’re kidding me? It’s a lump of moulded plastic on wheels, you’d have to be crazy to stand on this thing! And with that I hung up my helmet, never to be worn again.
I never truly gave up on the dream though. I might never again hit those dizzy heights of Holland Road circa 1980 but I now have two children of my own, and what are kids for if it’s not to abuse their youthful enthusiasm in pursuit of your own broken dreams?
I realise that’s wrong, and obviously I wouldn’t really do that to them. For a start how would I teach them the technique needed to stand up? But a scooter …..
So when I was asked if Sonny and Luca would like to test out some Mini Scooters, how could I say no?
Now judging by the school run, where crazy out of control children on 2×2’s have superseded the crazy out of control parents in their 4×4’s, I realise I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but scooters are brilliant!