TWO SWALLOWS ARRIVED YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. SO THE CAR WILL NOW BE PERMANENTLY ON THE PATIO BY THE BACK DOOR FOR THE SUMMER AS THERE ARE ALWAYS SWALLOWS IN THE GARAGE AND THEY MAKE A MESS OF THE ROOF OF THE CAR.
Reading through Simon's post this morning (Careering through Nature on my side bar) took me back to my childhood, which was spent in rural Lincolnshire. One of the things that made his post so interesting was that he walked by the side of the infant River Witham.
I grew up within sight of the River Witham, in a village which had only three hundred inhabitants and was only three miles from the City of Lincoln itself. Everyone in the village was known to me. I had a habit of pushing my doll's pram around the village and calling on everyone - this sort of thing just would not be envisaged these days. I knew everyone' name, the name of their house, and everything they would tell me about themselves. It was that kind of place.(and I got nice cakes and drinks as well!)
Along with my friends we all learned to swim in the Witham - much further down stream than where Simon was walking, so quite a lot wider, although it never becomes a really wide river as it winds its way into the Wash. At Boston it becomes tidal and each year for some years we would travel down the Witham from Washingborough to Boston on my brother-in-law's motor boat, mooring up each night at some little hamlet. This means that I also got to know places like Bardney (my mother's home village), Woodhall Spa, Tattershall (with its impressive Castle) and various little hamlets way out in the countryside.
Many of these places have hardly changed, but Washingborough has. I don't know the current population, but it is thousands as more and more housing estates have been built on farmland. I went back several years ago and I hardly recognised the place; every open space, where I had played, or where someone I knew had a garden, or kept a donkey or something, now had a house built on it. I wished I had kept the memory unsullied.
But it was a joy this morning to read of places where things do appear to be unchanged - villages which time seems to have passed by on the infant stretches of the Witham. Of course it hasn't really passed by - the houses will no doubt contain televisions, broadband and the like. But the outward appearance seemed to be very much the same - and it took me back seventy years to a blissful childhood. So thank you Simon for that.