After a recent conversation, my thoughts have turned to my childhood. I have lived most of my life in Bedford and for me this is home, but also spend a year or so in Wales and about the same amount of time in the North East.
At the age of 11, my family moved to a small village in south west Wales. We kept the house here and also bought a large double fronted Victoria house in Narberth High Street, (Narberth is a few miles from Tenby)
The house had many(now sort after) original features, 3 steps lead up to a large stained glass front door, once inside was the beautiful tiled floor, with a large dark oak winding staircase. Upstairs were 4 huge bedrooms and a connecting door leading to a self contained 1 bed flat. It was an enormous house and family that stayed often said they could feel a presence, and sometimes a sweet smell of perfume.
Looking back my time here was very happy, We lived about 4 miles from a gorgeous beach, I can remember we all wrapped up and walked the dogs along the beach on Christmas day. It was fantastic. We were free to roam without fear. I wonder if that would still be the same today.
We left there and moved North, Lanchester Co. Durham, back to my Dads roots(his family lived in Hebburn and Consett). This time to a more modest property, a modern semi, which backed onto a large green, accessed only by the properties surrounding it(today they would have built another 50 houses on there. I'm not sure if it would be a pleasant place today, I should imagine it's now an area for kids to hang around and drink etc. Although the house was modest, we still had two vehicles, the Landrover for work and a navy blue Mercedes for family outings-our new neighbours thought we were very posh, thinking about it now, why did we need two vehicles, mum could not drive!
Until Friday I had forgotten about the summer spent in Lanchester, on my friends farm, it was a couple of miles outside the village. I would often walk there alone(can't see me doing that now). You could say I moved in for the whole of the summer holiday, I helped(well as much as an 12yr old could) with bringing the cows in for milking, the taste of the warm creamy milk was like nothing I had ever tasted. As a reward, I was once allowed to drive the tractor and plough a field. It was just the most amazing time, we were free, no restrictions, no worries, we didn't care about fashion, make-up, boys etc, it really was the good life.
Why had I forgotten about these wonderful times? With all that's going on, it feels really good to remember and smile about these fantastic early years. So a big thank you to the people who reminded me of these really happy times.
Now I am beginning to think, should I return one day, walk around the villages, go back to the beach, the farm, my old schools? The thought is so appealing, but would the reality shatter the dream? Would I still be able to find some of the places that were really special to me. For now I won't worry, I will just keep thinking of those happy times and smile.