I’ve been indulging in a little navel gazing today thinking about my childhood an one thing I’ve noticed is how much the weather played a part in my favourite childhood memories.
There were the usual things like going to the local pool on a hot sunny day, jumping in and swimming about til my hands were all wrinkled. Then jumping out and lying on the hot concrete letting the sun warm me up and dry me out. Only to jump back in the pool, swim ’til I was wrinkled again, jump out and lie down in the sun again. A process that would be repeated over and over again until Mum decided it was time to go home.
Then there was the time where we went on a family trip to some place – to this day I can’t recall what it was called or even where it was – but it was an amazing place in the middle of nowhere with a huge waterfall that you could swim under if you were brave enough. And on this day it was so hot it made the margarine we’d brought along for our sandwiches melt to an oil consistency. (By the way, I wasn’t brave enough – I was very much a wader rather than a swimmer.)
But the good memories aren’t all about hot summer days either, my favourite memory is of pulling off my shoes and socks on wet days, jumping out my window and sneaking across the road to a piece of council land that used to ‘flood’ in that it would come up to my seven year old knees. On those days that piece of land became a mushy jungle where alligators would bite you if you didn’t run through the swampy grass fast enough. When I was done imagining I’d go home, jump back through the window, put my socks and shoes back on then sit in front of the fire until I was warm again. Come to think of it I’m surprised Mum and Dad never noticed the wet hair and ruddy cheeks. Perhaps they did but were nice enough to let me have my fantasy land.
While my childhood has well and truly passed, I feel grateful to carry with me those weather-rich memories.
So, what are yours?
Weather Watch Reporter and Chief Navel Gazer