December, 2nd

Leafy Land

I love nature. I have strong beliefs I am as part of the universe and earth as it is of me. Nature calms me and, pardon the pun, leads me back to my roots.

When I was younger, technology was just starting to begin. I would be a computer monitor in primary school, where every morning I would go into school and wheel the computer to my classroom. Kids Pix was the most amazing thing in the whole world! How times have changed.

I didn’t appreciate the outdoors as much as I do now. Instead, I would rather spend my time reading, singing, doing my homework and playing with my sister.

My fascination and love for the outdoors properly began on our family trips to Centre Parcs (formally known as “Oasis”). It was here we would ride our bikes, walk in the woods and hunt for red squirrels. What a time to be alive!

Centre Parcs is a holiday resort in the Lake District. Instead of hotels, you are assigned to a cabin (in the woods) which are self catered and within walking distance to the local leisure centre.

One time, I went on a riding trip with my older sister. At the time I was about 8/9 years old, my sister being 13/14. I wasn’t, and still not, very confident on a bike, but just cycling with my sister made me feel like Chris Hoy.

The track through the woods we took was quite gravelly at times, and I sheepishly followed my best friend down this steep hill. Then I slipped and fell off my bike and cried and cried and cried.

In shock, by both my hysteria and bleeding grazed knee, my sibling shot off back to the cabin for help from my parents. What felt like 2 hours later, which in fact probably was 10 minutes, my sister returned and told me to follow her back to the cabin.

Yeah, Mum and Dad weren’t pleased!

Still, it remains in my memory as if it was yesterday.

Happy times.

JT

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