Finally I've got my head around the Childhood Memories Meme. Here are my five things I miss about my childhood. I've appended the meme instructions below, as I found them SO confusing.
1. Sundays. We used to saddle up our ponies at about half past seven in the morning and ride out over the Quantocks for the whole day. We'd take some sandwiches and we wouldn't come back until it was dark. We used to go miles, with a ragged old map Pa had. We never particularly worried about getting lost and if it was getting dark before we got home, we'd stop and knock on the door of complete stranger's houses and ask to use their phones to tell Ma that we were okay and on our way back.
2. Early mornings. Especially after Tech Toddler Natalie managed to work out how to open the drop-side on her cot - I used to go downstairs to the kitchen and get the kitchen knife for her, and she would use it on the catch. We'd quite often get up before our parents in the summer and we'd go next door to our Great Uncle, who was up with the lark (he spent seven years in the Indian Army in the 1920's). We'd scrounge toast and slices of apple from him and then go out on 'adventures', at the advanced age of two or three and five or six. Once we collected a whole ice-cream container full of snails that we brought home and left on top of the freezer in the utility room. By the time Ma and Pa got up they'd all made a break for freedom and it took ages to collect them up again. The snail-slime was everywhere.
3. Keeping chickens. I used to earn my pocket money keeping hens and selling the eggs. And we had fancy breeds as well. I find chickens soothing company. Their brains are so small that they aren't stressful to be around at all :) . It was very simple economics - a) Buy chickens. b) Buy chicken feed. c) Feed chickens. d) Collect eggs. e) Sell eggs. f) Use money to buy chicken feed. g) Use excess money to buy books. h) Repeat from c).
4. Playing with water - we spent days and days each summer trying to build enough of a dam in the stream at the bottom of the field to make a pool big enough to splash around in. We never managed it, but each summer we'd start it as a project. Or we'd spend a week 'mapping' the course of the stream from Ma's field all the way down to the village. This involved tracing it's course personally, of course - we'd get stuck in the boggy bits and lose our wellington boots, or fall in. One year we had a rubber dingy that we used on the duck-pond. It didn't inflate very well and we regularly had to go overboard to fish it out - I can still feel the disgusting sensation of the mixture of duck-poo and mud between my toes. (That's something I don't miss!). And we used to run through the commercial-sized irrigation in the greenhouses or out on the chrysanthamum-ground on hot days and get soaked.
5. My Granny. We were 'pals'. I used to spend Saturdays at her house. She'd help me make a den out of her clothes horses and spare rugs, or get involved with my latest obsession. One week I'd become obsessed by Houdini and persuaded her to tie me up so that I could magically get myself free. She waited for ages before she untied me :) . She'd send me out to the ice-cream van when it parked in the lay-by on her estate for two chocolate ices and we'd have them with fruit for tea. We'd watch 'Basil Brush' and then it would be time to go home - unless I stayed late, when it would be Dr Who from behind the sofa :) .
Now for the complicated bit. I am dead confused about what I do with the list-thingy involved with this. That's partly because I'm dead confused and partly because I've been tagged by two people - Cheryl at Mad Baggage and Cin at It's Raining Again. On a first-come-first-served basis, Cin's time-stamp is earlier ... so here's her list. And I guess that strictly speaking, that's the one that the people I've tagged should use:
But to make things fair, here's Cheryl's list as well:
And here are the people I've tagged, who I hope won't be too offended and grumpy with me if they're not up for it: Ms Mac at Ms Mac's Meanderings, Rhys at The Gospel According To Rhys, Sarah at The Confuzzlement of a Sazzle, Christine at Supermum: Saga Lout, and Annie at Annies Rambles. Anyone else, please feel free to tag yourself and join in!
The instructions are: