Monday, 9 November 2009


When I was a lad, I lived in a small village in Hertfordshire, called Pirton and as you know, when you remember your childhood, it was always sunny.

We lived in a fourteenth century thatched cottage where the back garden was bounded by the village pond.

I remember it as being quite large since there were thirteen weeping willow trees overhanging the pond.

Come rain or shine, my days were always spent outside.

My best mate was called Pete and he and I used to disappear off into the Pegston Hills on our bikes, each with a bag of sandwiches and pop that our Mums had prepared for us.

Racing down country lanes devoid of cars, lying face upwards in cornfields listening to the skylarks that flew so high, you couldn't see them.

Digging for fossils in an old disused quarry.

Our bags always contained our Observers books, little pocket sized volumes on subjects like native bird species, butterflies and wild flowers.

The hills around the village were of chalk and grazed by sheep, with the woods being mainly of beech.

For sport we used to go scrumping, nicking ( Stealing ) apples from the Vicar's orchard, I'm quite sure he new what we were up to, but we never got caught.

In those days every village had it's characters and ours was an old man called Will, who in his seventies had never been further than the local market town of Hitchin, just five miles away.

The village lads used to tease him, but he was a crack shot with a catapult and would invariably hit them on the backside as they were running away!

Of course you would never tell your parents, otherwise you'd get another crack when you got home!

On Saturday mornings Mum would give me a half crown to go and by some fresh bread from the bakery, it was so hot I had to run all the way home because I could hardly hold it and I can still taste that wonderful flavour that only truly fresh bread has.

Later in life I read Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee, evoking his childhood in the Westcountry and all the memories came flooding back.

The richness of childhood before the advent of technology is something I feel privileged to have experienced, sadly it is lost to the young today.


  1. I believe that our childhood memories help to remind us of an innocence that becomes lost too soon. Perhaps it is a taste of what heaven will be like. Innocence, good friends, fields of lovely flowers and trees, and a tenderness that cannot be stolen through man's advancement in the superficial.

  2. Well said I couldn't agree more

  3. I absolutely loved this blog! I felt as if I was there with you as you wandered through your childhood memory. Weeping willows and fresh baked bread...sounds a lot like where I grew up which is a thousand or so miles away from your quaint home.

    I look forward to reading through your other blogs!

    L Avery Brown

  4. Once again, a great post, bringing back memories. I just did a similar one, but a little more specific on Life is just like that...:


  5. I loved your description of your childhood. It wasn't like mine but I experienced some of that during the summers in the country and in camp. I grew up on city streets where we had hot bagels and pickles sat in barrels on the street. Still we had the whole sidewalk to ourselves and it was an innocent time. Childhood memories are really very universal. Thank you for this great post.:)

  6. I love this post. It reminded me of my childhood. Of how innocent I am, of how small things made me smile and great things made me wonder. Technology evolves and so are people. True to what you say, those simple merriment we had back days are now left behind by high technologies - computers, playstation, PSPs, etc.

  7. How similar things can be for people everywhere.
    I learnt my love for the bush by roaming wild with a mate and my brother when we were somewhat younger than today

  8. It's warming to know that we humans have more in common, wherever we may come from,than our masters would have us believe.

  9. Been a few days since i've been to your blog,
    and what a treat! This is some pretty cool