THERE was a report (tenuous press release) this week about the ‘bucket list’ of 50 things children should do before they are 12, which included making mud pies, flying kites and collecting frogspawn. My lot, despite being townies, have ticked off most of the things on the list (except perhaps hunting fossils and ‘geocaching.’)
They take great pleasure in getting as mucky as possible at the allotment, have to camp every year, get let loose in parks and gardens at every opportunity and love beach exploring at their grandparents.
I mentioned to the kids that there were many things I did as a child that I certainly wouldn’t want them doing before they were 40, let alone 12. Then I couldn’t actually tell them for fear it would give them ideas.
However, for your eyes only, (look away kids, and my Mum and Dad) here’s a few things you won’t see on a children’s must-do list:
Make a ‘death slide’ over a fast running stream while trespassing on an angry farmer’s land;
Search the ashtrays in the cars in the village garage for used fag butts – and then dare each other to smoke them,
Remove half bottles of dad’s homebrewed wine and top it up with water, replacing the corks with a hammer,
Accept rides from older teenagers on motorbikes, even if it is ‘just across a field,’ or
Lie under jumps while your horsey friends – on their horses – jump over you.
It’s a wonder most of us with free-range childhoods are still here to tell the tale.