Today’s blog theme was chosen by Miss Peg and is supposed to be ‘Forbidden Fruit’; a story of the places you were told not to go as a kid. Now I consider myself very lucky to have very relaxed parents. When I was growing up nothing was ever really forbidden or out of bounds. I wasn’t the worst kid for pushing the boundaries and have often wondered if this was just the way I am, or because when the line is so flexible anyway what’s the point in testing it? In truth it’s probably a mixture of the two. A part of me has always admired the naughty kids, the ones who have the stories of sneaking out or getting in trouble, it just sounds a little bit more exciting than ‘nah my mum and dad used to buy extra food for me to have a party when they went away, they didn’t mind at all!’ I think after my sister and 3 brothers I was a bit of a relief really, they never had to be worried about me being brought home by the police (my brother stole squirty cheese from the Naafi and then decided it was a good idea to eat it right outside the shop in front of the Camp police man…well done Guy!), smoking or generaly being an idiot. Even if I was the type it had all been done before by my siblings, or my parents themselves, I doubt I’d have been able to phase them even if I tried!! You’re reading the words of a daughter who was forced to go clubbing at 13 (that’s right, FORCED, I didn’t want to go!) because the Russian exchange girls staying with us wanted to go out. They were 18, I was their host, off to town I went, mothers orders!!
When I was a teenager I experimented with being sneaky, I think most kids do (girls are FAR better than guys it has to be said). My friend from up the road would to get off the school bus outside my house (meaning it had stopped, so my parents would think I was on it…see, sneaky!) and the two of us would hang out under the flyover until my mum had gone to work. It was quite a cool little hideout there really, for a while we even kept a blanket and books (just realised how UTTERLY rock and roll this sounds, I obviously meant a litre of vodka and some cannibis….) to keep us warm and entertained while we waited.
Our hidey hole – under the bridge
Then one day my mother (who I suspect had an inkling of what was going on) calmly informed me should ever I want a day off school I need only ask. “Adults can book annual leave when we need a break” she said “I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to take a day here and there if you want one!”
If anything my mum appeared to relish my doing anything against my ‘goody two shoes’ nature; she was quite the opposite of me and I think saw any naughtiness as confirmation that I hadn’t been swapped at birth!!
Both my parents were the outdoor types as children. My father was brought up on a farm with 4 brothers while mum lived in a built up area and was always out causing havoc with the children who lived around her. When we lived in Blandford Forum I remember being outside quite a bit as there were plenty of people to call out to play and vice versa, however when we moved I was the only one around and so switched to spending most of my time indoors, constantly being bugged to ‘go outside!!!’ by mum and dad. As I got older I would go for long bike rides with the dogs, visit friends for the weekend and camp in the local woods with my friends, but nowhere was ‘forbidden.’ I remember my nephew and I spending HOURS exploring the river at the end of my nans garden every summer. We would walk up it until it became too deep, then scramble up the bank and walk along that until we got hungry when we’d go back. Like I said before all of these escapades and adventures were encouraged as I was outside doing something! My dad even built me a tree house one summer, it had electricity and beds and everything (I know what you’re thinking) it was amazing! My friends and I spent days and days decorating the insides and would have sleepovers all year round (electricity = heating!)…it was my first (only) experience of glamping! Every spring there would be the big treehouse clear out, scrubbing it ready for a summer of sleeping outside (ish). Like all kids I loved building dens (usually in the spare room with Josh (my nephew) using EVERY sheet and towel in the airing cupboard) but my treehouse was always there ready for me to escape to. I think at one point I even had a television up there, haha!
You always want what you didn’t/can’t have and I know I longed for friends to be able to knock on my door and ask me to come out to play, and to live in a place where it was easy to hop on a bus or whatever. All those ‘poor kids in town who have nowhere to hang out’ but at least they have company!! As an only child I relied a lot on my friends, again very lucky that I had parents who would drive me anywhere and collect my friends who’s parents were not so accommodating. They were bloody amazing actually, still are. In fact I’m off to tell them how fab they are!
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