When did you last frolic? I mean, really, really frolic?
I ask because an off-the-cuff remark I posted on our extended
family WhatsApp group yesterday led to a full-scale debate on frolicking, complete with photographs. In the interests of bringing back an excellently descriptive word which seems to have fallen out of favour of late I thought I would let readers of the Daily
Blog lend their voice to the frolicking discussion...
It all started when My Boy posted an early morning message bewailing the fact that he was on his own at home
(the Darling Daughter in Law being out at work) trying to work from home while encouraging the three (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys to settle down to at least some school work. Preferably quietly.
My parenting style being what it is / was - and the weather being hot, hot, hot - I suggested he should turn on the garden hose and let the boys frolic in the sunshine. (In defence of my laissez-faire approach to parenting,
I would like to point out that all my Foursome have turned into conscientious and extremely hardworking adults, despite me.)
Almost immediately my dear nephew
and godson (they are one and the same person, so please don’t get worried about keeping up) messaged to comment that he doesn’t think youngsters have frolicked since the 1950s; young’uns today, he opines, are more likely to kick back and
chill. Frolicking is, it seems, out of fashion. Opinions are divided. His younger brother sends us some delightful photos of his two little ones enjoying their paddling pool. Even from a distance of many miles, I can vouch for the fact that they are definitely
frolicking - particularly when they march off carrying the (empty) paddling pool over their heads in triumph. On the other hand, there’s the photo of my Welsh Boys “frolicking” with a video game in front of the TV...
A frolic, as I understand it, is a fun, playful activity, while to frolic is to cavort, romp, or run around - to have fun. I am enchanted with two more words we don’t hear enough of these days
- “cavort” and “romp.” Look out for both in future Daily Blogs, that’s all I can say. Because, as you know, I do like the Daily Blog to come over all educational every so often, I have carried out some research (I didn’t
spend too long on it because (i) it was too hot; and (ii) I was keen to return to some serious frolicking). It seems it traces back to the Dutch word vrooliik which translates as “merry”. This has changed my whole perception of Holland and the
Dutch people which was previously mainly limited to clogs, canals and windmills.
I am thinking of starting up a campaign to bring back frolicking and make it a
national pastime. As we emerge from Lockdown, we all need to frolic (albeit at a social distance and taking our litter home with us.) Now that Boris has called time on the daily Coronavirus Press Briefings from Downing Street, we badly need a replacement to
enliven the late afternoon / early evening slot. Our new-style briefings would still involve detailed data (“Next slide, please!”) on how many people have frolicked, how many have sustained lasting pleasure from frolicking and how a world-beating
test, track and trace app has been launched to save the world from anti-frolickers. My nephew, clearly totally won over to the idea of fun and frolics, suggests our campaign could be widened to cover efforts to have a 100 metre frolic included at the 2024
Paris Olympics. After all, he suggests, if the British are to be world-beaters at anything it might as well be frolicking. I am thinking that I probably need to involve Prince William and David Beckham to have any chance of success in this bid but I
am not sure how to contact either of them...
My brother in law, meanwhile, says we are all talking frolicks.
I have absolutely no idea what he means...