I was brought up in a country-ish location. Saddleworth to be exact, right on the edge of the Pennine Hills.
I have such happy memories of growing up in such a wonderful place. Our house backed out onto a stream and a small woodland. We spent our days playing hide and seek and fishing for stickleback.
The part of Saddleworth I lived in was Delph, a tiny little village. It only has a small road running through it and because of that, we were allowed to play out with minimal rules.
I remember spending a lot of time at ‘Pingle.’ Pingle was actually a mill. But us kids didn’t mean the mill. We meant a secluded little spot near the mill, sheltered by trees, which had a river running through, with a small waterfall.
We spent all summer, every summer, from the ages of about 9-13 there. There was a rope swing that you could swing from and jump into the river. I was always too scared to do it. I remember going home on numerous occasions, sopping wet because we’d decided to go in without having our swimming gear on.
It might be my memory tricking me, but the summers were much hotter and we stayed out from 9am-9am, only returning to eat lunch and dinner (it was dinner and tea up North!) as fast as possible so we could go back out. Oh, and we took our bikes everywhere!
I want to live back in the country. Especially on sunny days like this. It would be lovely to be able to open the back door, and be right in the countryside. This has become more important since getting Woody Dog. The dream is to live somewhere we can open the back door and go straight out for a walk, without needing to put him on his lead at all.
Given my upbringing, I would really like to live somewhere more rural for when we have our own children. I’d like them to have the kind of childhood that Craig and I did. Craig grew up in rural Leicestershire and has lovely memories of playing outside with his dog, Ted, in the dirt!
I’d like a farmhouse with a big kitchen diner and a huge oak table, a utility room where we can kick off dirty boots and a back door that we actually use. I’d work part time so I can be around for the kids and the dogs. We bake and play outside lots.
I sometimes worry that regardless of where we live, our children won’t have the same kind of life. How could they? Things change in 20 years. Although Craig and I are very technology orientated, I would object to my children being sat in the house all day playing on the computer. They should be playing and being creative. Craig has fond memories of their childhood ‘make’ box, which was a collection of paints, pens, paper, cardboard, washing up bottles, pipe cleaners and all the other usual stuff. Think Blue Peter. Is it realistic to want your children to grow up like this these days?
I hope so. Because that’s the dream.