Saturday, 30 August 2008
As far as the eye can see.
I am rediscovering my childhood, about a week ago when my daughter came to visit I went down to the Isle of Sheppey. Now when I was a child I would visit there once a year with my family, I grew up till I was 11 in London. In a little row of Victorian terraced houses. My Parents were not that well off, they were buying their own house, so for the 5 of us to go away every year was quite an expense I expect, and quite an adventure too, for me. I only ever saw a green field when I went on holiday or when my primary school took us to the common for sports day. We didn't even have our own playing field.
Now I know that everything looks bigger when you are young, last week I realised this more than ever. My daughter drove me into the chalet site where I used to stay, I even recognised the chalet that we would stay in, it's still there!!! The campsite looked tiny and very overcrowded, many of the chalets are in poor repair but I think that they must have been sold off. Mind you they are goodness knows how many years old. We started to go there when I was a nipper so we are talking about late 1950's. It sort of brought a lump to my throat when I think back to how my parents managed that holiday every year. We would go by coach, my Dad wouldn't drive, even though he had during the war in the desert. In those days, we didn't have all the facilities that we have today. Clothes were heavier, wool and cotton, not so many light weight fabrics. My Mum often said I don't know how I managed those suitcases! Still we went every year.
So this week I went down to Sheppey to explore a part of it, that I didn't know existed. Along the inner edge of the Island, that part that edges the Swale River there is a fantastic nature reserve. Ok, the scenery to some people might be a little bland but I love it. You can see for miles and miles. It's mainly a bird sanctury on wide open marshes but whilst we were there, I saw my very first hare in real life. I wish I had been quick enough to get a picture. We saw allsorts of birds, Marsh Harriers, A beautiful Heron and other water fowl.
It really is hard to believe that all of this is on our doorstep. It took us just 45 minutes from door to door.
I just love the open spaces of this place.
Now this scene is along the edge of the Swale. The tide was well out as can be seen. We were trying to figure out what all these sticks were in the ground and then realised that they must have been from a landing stage of some sort. The mud flats were covered in some sort of algae/weed
Coming home we took the old bridge, the new one is to the right. I sort of recollect going across here, in my far distant memory way back in those very happy childhood days.