Laiking about

No – I haven’t spelled it wrong; I’m using the dialect term from my childhood. ‘Laik’ – to play – is a word of Viking origin, as many are in Yorkshire. It’s also the root of a certain famous brick:

The name ‘LEGO’ is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.


I loved Lego. I only had red house bricks, some roof tiles and the odd see-through window as a child. But oh the things I created. Since my Dad was a builder, houses came first. I learned the hard way that you have to layer each row of bricks across the joins. Too long a stack of unkeyed bricks and it all topples over.

I got quite ambitious, architectural even. Castles, palaces and cathedrals – which became stage sets for my odd collection of figures to have adventures in. Later on, with my sons’ larger sets, Barad-dûr was recreated entirely out of black bricks. Great fun.

The point I’m making to myself is how often I had to take things apart and rebuild them. How I would disassemble an entire floor to get the chimney in the right place or take apart and rebuild a wall to create a jettied storey Medieval style. Hours of fun where I lost track of time.

That’s what ‘playing well’ can be; that deep interaction with what we do.

We love seeing young animals at play – the internet is full of them. The concentration and realness-to-them is so engaging. It’s not just cute – at best, it’s recalling our creative, experiment selves.

‘So,’ Wise-Writer-Self tells Maungy-Me, ‘you must approach your editing in the same spirit. Get laiking!’


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