Sunday, 19 April 2015

SPRING

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. 

13 comments:

A Heron's View said...

We have yet to see any swallows in this part of Ireland, though I understand that a few have been seen in other areas but not in any great numbers. Which leads me into thinking it might be a case of mis-identification.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Heron - the sand martins have been here on the Ure for some time and although they are not really like swallows they do looklike them from a distance when flying. It is very cold here today - think they may all stay in the South until it warms up again - they are not daft.

MorningAJ said...

Washingborough was part of my patch when I first became a journalist back in 1976. I bet I wouldn't recognise it today.

Joanne Noragon said...

I've confounded myself with revisiting my old neighborhood. Of course it's changed; shame on me. I hope it treats every generation kindly.

The Weaver of Grass said...

You wouldn't AJ - it is all large housing estates and very few green spaces.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to everyone. Perhaps we should never try going back.

Heather said...

I haven't seen any swallows yet, but a robin has set up home in one of our local garden centres. It displays various settings of garden furniture one of which has a hat perched on the back of a chair and that is where the robin is nesting! A notice asks customers not to move the hat.
It is a mistake to return to a much loved place after a long time. I still remember the horrid feeling I had as I looked between the new houses for a glimpse of my grandmother's garden where I spent such a happy childhood.

Maywyn Studio said...

Thought provoking post, thank you

I miss the area of Route 128, Waltham, Massachusetts that was farmland when I was a child. Now its a moving parking lot (128), building and hotels. Those places create jobs. I can't help wonder where else the jobs could be created instead of filling up farmland. Probably farther out in larger farmland areas.

angryparsnip said...

I love reading about your childhood. How exciting to travel the river in a boat and visit all the little towns
and villages.
I never go back to all the houses I lived in. When I was there I took great care with them and they were home but now they are not and some have changed for the worst.

cheers, parsnip

Terra said...

I like how you let the swallows have your garage as their summer home and swallow nursery. Nice to hear that some of your childhood places still have their charm.

Hildred said...

How heart warming, Pat it's nice to know some parts of our childhood exist in actual places, somewhat unchanged, and not only in our memories....

Cro Magnon said...

In my native village in Surrey everyone used to address me by my name, even though I didn't know who they were. Everyone knew my people; so they knew who I was. It was a strange experience for a small boy.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think we can all agree that times have changed, not necessarily for the better -although we have to go with the flow.
Thanks for joining in as usual.