The tales that grown-ups tell

When i was young i believed everything grown ups told me, well you do when you’re a child dont you? Thinking back it made me chuckle at some of the things they would tell us just to get us to do as they wanted and i just had to write them down. These are some of mine, how many can you remember?

 

WHEN THE ICE CREAM VAN PLAYS MUSIC IT MEANS THEYRE SOLD OUT

Oh yes i believed this one until one day i saw the ice cream van roll up merrily playing music and the kids from over the road all ran out to buy some. Of course i never told anyone when i was young because you can bet for sure they’d all have laughed but you have to admit its a pretty effective way of getting out of buying lots of expensive ice cream cones!!

IF YOU SWALLOW AN APPLE PIP YOU’LL GROW A TREE IN YOUR TUMMY

Yes you guessed it i believed this one too! I remember once accidentally swallowing a pip and being terrified i was going to turn into a tree. I was way too scared to tell my parents, i thought they would yell at me and then dump me in a forest until i grew there. Okay so i admit i was rather small and i did have a very active imagination but even now i look back and chuckle.I saw an advert on tv a few years back and one of the catchphrases was…i want to be a tree and it made me laugh because it reminded me so much of apple pips.

EATING SUGAR WILL GIVE YOU WORMS

I will never know where this one came from, maybe it was some 70s idea of getting kids not to eat too much sugar. When i was small i had a terrible habit of wetting my finger, dipping it in the sugar pot and eating it or sneaking sugar cubes from my grandparents sugar bowl and hiding under the table to eat them. Sugar sandwiches, the staple diet of every 70s child and we loved them although the idea of them now makes me cringe. But then suddenly granny starts telling us that eating sugar gives you worms! I have never dropped a sugar cube so fast in my life yet at the same time gruesomely fascinated with the horrible thought of having a tummy full of wriggly little monsters.Effective though right?

SMELLING DANDELIONS MAKES YOU WET THE BED

Another one from granny! Like most kids i used to love and sit on my grandparents lawn and make daisy chains and one time when i was feeling particularly lazy i decided that if i made them from dandelions it would take half the time.Logical right? noooooo granny snatched them out of my hand and told me dandelions make you wee the bed. I’ve never scrubbed my hands so much in my life and spent the whole night too scared to sleep incase i wet the bed!!

IF THE WIND CHANGES WHEN YOU PULL A FACE YOU’LL STAY LIKE IT

Another one from mum this time. Admittedly on every car journey my brothers and sisters and i would be kicking each others ankles and jabbing our elbows into each others ribs complaining loudly that ”HE’s taking up too much ROOM” eventually this would drive my mom crazy and she would tell someone off and then the face pulling behind the seats would commence. Always brought to a head by a sharp warning from mother that if the wind changed we would stay like it and we were never entirely convinced that it wasnt true so the face pulling never did last long.

IF YOU TELL ME THE TRUTH YOU WONT GET INTO TROUBLE

Really? oh okay then it was me!! HMMMM yes i fell for this one too. Okay as a grown up i hate lies and firmly believe in telling the truth except in extreme circumstances but as kids, well we lie right? So mom and dad come up with the above line to persuade little johnny and betty to tell the truth. It works at first because a child will clutch at any lifeline to get out of trouble but kids are pretty savvy and this one really doesnt last long. Not going to get into trouble? okay mom pull this one now!

I remember these little tales my elders told me and i’m sure there are many more i’ve forgotten. How many do you have??

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On an English country hike

I live in a small town in the South West of England, pretty much like any other town i would say except we are famous for two reasons. The first a beautiful chalk horse carved into the hillside and the second we lay claim to the oldest swimming baths in Britain, opened in 1887 and still having much of its original Victorian architecture. Interestingly these swimming baths are reputed to be haunted by a ghost named George. Some say he was a swimmer who jumped to his death from the pool balcony while the more likely claim is that he is the ghost of an old stoker. Since most sightings of him have been seen by the poolside wearing overalls most people tend to believe the latter. 

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Living where i do i tend to walk a lot and my favourite walk is up into the hills to sit on the white horse so i am going to take you on a trip with me on an English country hike. Usually i start from my house and walk up into the market place, typically English although the days of there actually being a market there have long since gone. Still it remains with much of its original buildings being an original part of the town.Once upon a time the building on the left was the town hall, now it is merely used to house a solicitors.    

 

 

From here we turn left and head up the hill, i love this street for it has one of the loveliest houses along the way and if i were to dream of owning any house then this one would certainly be up there with the front runners. Not my usual type of house since i mostly prefer Victorian houses but this one is definitely of the rose covered variety.

 

 

Right next to this are houses i really do love, originally cloth mills until 1969 these are listed buildings and have been converted into houses. I’ve never had the chance to see inside but externally they have a most appealing character which i am drawn to. 

 

 

Getting to the top of the hill you see straight infront of you the White Horse Pottery, producing the most beautiful hand made pottery in a traditional old style. You can go along and watch the pottery being made and browse the collection of unique pieces for sale. The building itself was once an old school which i believe was the Church Of England Day School dating to around 1847 and is today still called The old School.

 

 

 

 

Now this is where the real hiking begins, as you leave the houses behind the path widens with a riding school on one side and beautiful views across the fields on the left, horse sitting proudly on the hill dominating the landscape. It looks closer than it is from here, like you could almost reach out and touch it and you would be forgiven for thinking you need only run through the field and you will be there.

 

 

 

Rounding a corner and turning left to head up across the hills you very often encounter horses in the fields, some of these guys are oh so beautiful and very friendly. I did feel rather guilty today as i did not have a single treat in my pocket yet despite the drizzle they were more than happy to come over and say hello.

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Onwards and upwards! There is of course a road that goes all the way to the top of the horse as many people choose to drive there but this is often covered by a canopy of trees which hides the view as you walk so i tend to hike halfway up and then cut along the fields. This takes you right along the front of the hill ridge and only a barbed wire fence between you and a very long steep slide down to terra firma. On the right days you can see Paragliders galore taking flight like a swam of exotic butterflies and swirling around the skyline infront of the hill face.

                                                  

 

The hike is definitely worth it as you cut across the hills the horse peers gleaming white from between the hills as you walk, far bigger than it appears in photographs and closer than you would imagine. High above the horse itself is an Iron Age Hill Fort named Bratton Camp, now here i had to borrow a photograph since this amazing site really doesnt show well from ground level and there is seriously no chance of me getting myself up into one of those paragliders, no matter how pretty they may appear from down here..

 

 

Then as you walk along the chalk path you are face to face with that gleaming horse you saw in the distance. You can actually sit on this if you are brave enough although i content myself with sitting on his ear and looking out across the landscape at my little town below.                                                                                                               

 



 

Above is the view sitting on the horses ear looking down into the valley. Was i tempted to slide down it?? oh no!! Actually it was very drizzly and windy and i had rather a time staying seated where i was without the wind whipping the camera from my hand. You can see why they love to glide from here cant you??

 

 

Welcome to my hike, feel free to come along and sit with me for i come here a lot. And as i sit here with the wind and rain howling around me i really do not mind at all. We are happy up here this horse and i watching the world go by and running madly through the hills just like all wild things should.