Monday, 1 June 2009

Dandling in Britain today

Seeing young children being 'dandled' on the seafront at Herne Bay, reminded me of family holidays fifty years ago in my Uncle's chalet, just down the coast at Swalecliffe. Here, I can be seen making noise with pots and pans and floated in the sea by my Father and Brother.

I first came across the verb 'to dandle' in a poem by Sir Walter Ralegh called 'Farewell to the Court'. It means 'To dance a child in the arms or on the knee.' He wrote :

Like truthless dreames, so are my joies expired,
And past return, are all my dandled daies.'

I am heartened by the fact that, as I was dandled, in this case, in the sea, so too, there is much evidence of 'dandling' by parents, going on in Britain today. A continiuty of good, in a sea of dubious change.

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