Sunday, August 26, 2007

Childhood summers

When J was a lad, his family would drive over to Cotherstone in Teesdale to visit his Auntie Nina. She wasn't his Auntie Nina, she was too old, but she was somebody's Auntie Nina.
She lived in a tiny cottage and he remembers it as being like stepping back at least two centuries. It was one of those stone cottages with an alcove bed in the kitchen, a range and outdoor toilet.

J and his three sisters would ride their lilos down the rapids and J would disappear up river towards Barnard Castle without seeing a soul all day. His parents never worried.

We were down there today. There are safety warnings, life preservers and keep out notices everywhere. He was a bit disillusioned.

It's still beautiful, though the currents look too dangerous for lilo racing.
"Would you let j surf down there on a lilo?' I ask.
"Would you let him wander off into that forest alone?"
"He's 6ft 2 and a big bloke!"
"Well, yes, but when he was younger...?"

Is the world actually different or is it us?

1 comment:

Rowena Hopkirk said...

It's both. I don't know about creeks & rivers & such, but I know my kids had to deal with things I didn't. And we're more aware of some dangers than our parents were. Probably all the media exposure.