Monday, 27 August 2012

They shut the road through the woods...

'They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods...'
~ From 'The Way through the Woods' by Rudyard Kipling

We went on several lovely walks when I stayed with my parents. The nice thing about dogs is that they have to be walked every day, so you have a good excuse to go out whatever the weather! My favourite walk from our week in Devon started out in the wood I played in as a girl. Since I left home they have opened a path through the woods to nearby Tamerton Foliot and I thought it would be nice to take the Podlings along it. Unfortunately, a fallen tree blocked the path not very far into the woods and we had to change our route.

We followed the path that runs alongside the woods and were lucky enough to see a lady in her garden who had some baby newts in her pond. She invited the Podlings in to have a look at them, which they found quite quite exciting.

We followed the path round to what, in my day, we called The Big Park. It used to be a wonderful playground with lots of swings, roundabouts, see saws, huge slides, climbing frames and the most wonderful fort. It is now called The Millennium Park. Rather a grand name that promises something quite exciting. On the contrary, they obviously decided that the best way to commemorate the arrival of a new century was to rip out all the play equipment, grass the whole area over and rechristen it. I'll grant you it was peaceful, but that was because despite it being a sunny afternoon in the summer holidays there were no children! When I was a child, this park was teeming with life in the summer holidays. Oh, it used to be such a fun park for children. How sad that life moves on!

Despite me getting rather nostalgic and being painfully aware that quite a few years had passed since my own childhood here, it was wonderful to be able to take my children to the places I played in as a girl. A little surreal perhaps, but it is nice to have a connection to a place and to be able to say 'this is where I am from'.

Tom and Emma wash the mud from their wellies in the stream

Our path was blocked by this fallen tree, though even if it weren't the ground was so boggy I doubt we could have continued.

A number of houses back on to the woods and it seems to have long been the practice of many residents to empty their garden waste into the woods. These roses and fuschias were growing wild together, deeply entwined and beautiful in their unexpectedness. Judging from the size of the plants, they probably grew from waste cuttings thrown here many, many years ago.

The trees in the background of this picture made me feel so old. When I was a girl they were mere babes of trees and this was more or less an open field. Now they are big, big trees and the 'field' is now part of the wood. Surely that much time can't have passed. Wasn't it only yesterday that I was playing games of hide and seek in the long grass here?

A game of chase with the Grandad Monster 




Anonymous said...

Goodnes me,the happy memories of the "big park" the long grass you could hide in,the tunnels,the huge slides,see saws, your right the back when we were younger the park was always full of children playing! is the zig zag and white hill still there or has that been changed too? I must re visit and take Dave around where I grew up...all the lovely memories..haha me and Elaine playing squirrels! Laura

Paula said...

Oh, I had forgotten about the tunnels! They were great!

The hill is still there,but other than that the place is almost unrecognisable from the park of our childhood.

It is a lovely place though. Very peaceful. It would be a perfect little picnic spot for you, Dave and your new little one next year...