Where do the Children play……

Earlier today I undertook an enjoyable hour and a bit ramble with my trusty pup to banish the Sunday morning breakfast intake, the joys of a Scottish cardiac breakfast coursing through my veins certainly needed some walking off.

A short bit away from the house I came across a grassy area to the back of what used to be known as Chimney Hill. When I was a kid we used to use the hill at all times of the year, either in the summer on our homemade wooden go-karts or on an upturned dustbin lid if the weather had produced snow or ice in the winter.

The original chimney that was already a ruin when I was young has long gone but in my mind it will always be ‘chimney hill’. Houses have replaced the area to one side that was once nothing more than a field leading onto berryfields. Now all that remains to make any reference to this time gone by is a few street names that relate to a once thriving raspberry picking area!

To the back of the path is a new walkway and a grassy area about the size of a 3/4 size football field and it was this area that surprised me a bit this morning. The area, or should I more accurately describe it as a slope, was completely covered in 2-3 deep inches of solid ice! The weather has changed in recent days to bring about a good thaw but despite a lot of the ice melting this area was still a sight to behold, a solid downhill slope ice rink…..And not a child in sight!!!!

When I was a kid an area like this would have been all day entertainment, dustbin lids and kitchen trays would have been removed from unsuspecting parents and the place would have been mobbed by little people trying to invent faster ways to hit the wall at the bottom of the slope. Bumps and scrapes would be achieved and the battle wounds would be held proudly for anyone to see. Today there wasn’t a child in sight, an area of free entertainment slowly melting away to nothing! What an absolute waste!

Parents nowadays are killing their children’s fun, innocence and ability to play and interact with their  fellow little people with their overpowering use of health and safety! They use the excuse of child snatchers being everywhere to stop their kids going out of sight and arm their 5 year olds with mobile phones when they send them off to school. By their over-bearing they completely ignore the facts that on the whole the world is no less safe than it was when they and I were young, its just that the modern day is different in terms of the way things are reported in the media and whilst there are bad people out there who pray on kids these people existed when we were young as well, its just that on the whole no one really worried about them.

Kids headed out in the morning to play and came home 15 hours later, sometimes with a few scratches and muddy trousers but usually nothing worse than that. We didn’t have mobiles when I was young, we didn’t need them, parents opened doors and shouted and the message was heard 6 streets away and everyone knew what time they had to be home for tea.

Life was innocent and our childhood was a blissful ignorance and it set us up well for the life ahead. We didn’t get a lift to the school in the morning, we got up early and walked from one side of town to the other, sometimes we even had to battle through lots of snow, and battle we did because the school was open and was going to stay that way no matter how much snow came down! Nowadays parents panic at the sight of a snowflake, its a sad sight really to see how today’s children are being shielded from a few hard knocks and it is even more obvious when the little cherubs leave school and hit the real world which for some reason they think owes them a living…news for you kids…it doesn’t!!!!

Mobile phones, Health and Safety, Computers and overbearing parents have killed what little fun the wee ones used to have back in my day, the children have stopped playing and a whole generation now exists that wouldn’t know how to make its own entertainment if its life’s depended on it….

Kids don’t play outside anymore and that’s just a sad fact, very rarely do you see any of them playing football in the fields and it shows by the lack of talent coming through at local clubs. Luckily there are still a few parents who do value the outdoor life for their kids but in many cases they use it as an excuse to get a few hours peace and quiet while someone else does the hard work for them.

You don’t have to have any kids to see what a bunch of stuck up, self righteous little brats are being brought up in the world today, we were all kids once and what was good enough for us should be good enough for the next generation too.

The next time you see a bit of an icy slide area just remember the buzz you got as a kid firing yourself down something similar towards impending god knows what at the bottom and then go home, grab a tea tray, and introduce your kids to FUN!!!! Oh and have a shot yourself while you are at it….the memories will flood back…..

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