Swinging into Halloween

Doesn’t look like my piece is getting published, so here it is..

sketch of swing with three seats, on the first seat is a sad face, on the second seat is a surprised face and on the third seat is a smiling face. Between the swing props are the handwritten words 'mood swings'
Punning image for mood swings, (c) Carole Edrich 2023

If you go down to the Green today, you’re sure of a big surprise
If you go down to the Green today, you need not go in disguise
For early in the morn there is
Someone on a swing because
Today’s the day I’m starting to swing in Wanstead
If I manage to swing enough I’m sure of a treat someday
There’s lots of marvellous benefits, and some great results, I’ll say
Besides the trees where you can all see
I’ll swing and swing as long as I please
Coz that is the way to improve my abs, in Wanstead.


I am going swinging in Wanstead. Probably every morning, around dawn on Christchurch Green. It’s a great workout (I did it last year for a while). It feels easy and fun. At least it would if people acted a little less suspicious of me.. I’m hoping that, in sharing my ups and downs with you, I’ll not need to worry about concerned adults or busybodies reporting me to the police.

Swinging Benefits

As an ex drug-free bodybuilder, I can tell you that it’s not just my abdominal muscles that get a workout. My leg biceps and triceps (thighs) are involved, and if I point and relax my toes, my calves are involved. Depending on where I hold the chains I can get some reps on my triceps and biceps too, and if I concentrate hard, my shoulders. It’s also going to help maintain good coordination and balance.

Swinging adults

When I consider that I can plug in to my favourite podcast or the talking book of the moment and listen while I’m swinging, I wonder why more adults don’t get on the swings, and why there are so few adult swings around. Don’t tell me it’s to stop young adults abusing the place, because saying that it’s acceptable to penalise everyone because of the behaviour of a few is – to me – silly.

While I’m on the subject…

It’s a great shame that whoever put the swings up didn’t make them level. It gives a subliminal indicator to very young children that slovenliness, laziness and lack of pride in one’s work is not just acceptable but a normal part of life. From my marginally-more-adult perspective it doesn’t look right, and makes me wonder if this is symptomatic of a greater malaise. Do Redbridge tenders specify quality management? If they do, is there oversight? Poor construction – even of swings – is bound to lead to things breaking sooner and more easily. It also just pisses me off.

Finally, did you know…

You can buy a little swinging mechanism  – or the whole swing, if you want to scare your neighbours with a swinging skeleton?  Just look up Halloween Swing if you’re interested.


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