Long summers. Playing outside until the street lights came on or until it was too dark to see across the garden. Building dens. Climbing on the garden shed, even though it was banned. I loved my childhood. I had the best times with my brother, Nigel and my two neighbours Becky and Ben.
Becky was my partner in crime. We lived two doors away from one another and did everything together. Becky was 18 months younger than me, but was no wallflower. We laughed together – squabbled together -fell out – made up, but had the time of our lives. I’m smiling now, thinking back to the fun of the 1980s.
It was after the hurricane of 1989 that the fences in the back garden were blown down. 8 fence panels all ripped out over night. The next morning we looked out to see pieces of fence all strewn across the garden. It took quite a while to clear up. I was about 10 years old and keen to help as much as possible (I think). Maybe I’m looking back with those rose-tinted glasses.
My neighbours has one son, a lot older than we were. We were always peeking through the fence to see what was happening on the other side. It was all very exciting as a child. But, when he got a girlfriend the spying continued. We’re stand and giggle. Once the fence was down though we would wave then run and hide. It was more fun than it sounds.
On one afternoon, we’d played games, cycled, been to the park and back. A great day! We returned to my back garden and noticed the teenage neighbour with his girlfriend in the room. We giggled about it. Kissing was something to laugh at still. (Eeewgh – the thought of kissing…..) We crept towards the house, keeping ourselves well hidden. A brick wall divided the patio areas at the rear of the houses and so we tried to get as close to the window to have a really good look.
Feeling brave I got onto my knees and crept on the ground until I was right underneath next door’s window. I’d have a great view from here. I felt invisible. (I clearly thought, being ten years old, that my actions were on par with James Bond)….. I slowly, very slowly began to stand up…… I inched towards the window sill…. A few more centimetres and I would peek in through the window……
I froze! Stunned silent! My eyes locked onto the eyes of my neighbour. The mother! She stood in the room about 10 centimetres away from the glass on the inside. She knew! Her face was stern. I swallowed. Caught out!
Clearly the moral to this story is. Don’t peep on your neighbours. Don’t think you’re better at sneaking around than you really are. Prepare for a good telling off by the mum if you do get caught.
Ah – memories!!! (It wasn’t my idea…. Does that count?)