9 2 mins 11 yrs

If you’re American, I was “on the trail” today. If you’re British or Irish, I “went for a walk”.  And what a walk too, through some of God’s creation that’s Epping Forest.

It’s a place I’ve neglected for some years although I’ve been putting that right recently. It’s good to see Mother Nature hasn’t also neglected these glorious woods. They’re as thick, dark and lush as I remember. You see, dear reader, your humble correspondent pretty much grew up in this place. When I were a nipper I’d usually be fishing the lakes or tearing around on my BMX. Little did I realise I was gaining an education every bit as valuable as anything taught in a classroom. It’s here that I learned how to use a map and compass, site a camp, erect a shelter, make a feather stick and build a fire, use a bushcraft knife, set a snare, identify wild food, camouflage techniques, tracking and all those other ancient and wonderful things boys should know. I still remember it all and the great times we had in learning them. Most of what a teacher ever said to me has long gone.

But … no, I’m sure social engineers are right. Learning how to score drugs and get pregnant must be more “socially relevant” or something. Strewth, half of what we got up to in Epping Forest is probably illegal now.

Even so, if you have children then opening the door and dragging the little darlings out probably won’t do them any harm. That’s eight miles, a million trees, a secret valley rediscovered, some muntjac spotted, a few rabbits, a pair of tired legs – and a few beers coming up.

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9 thoughts on “ENGLAND TODAY

  1. Despite the fact that, living in a big, smoky city as we did when I was samll, the times when we did actually get grass under our feet still resounds with me even today.

    Being young, I also took the sayings of adults for gospel, so when my Grandad said to me ‘lets go and see the foal’ I instinctively thought of a small baby horse. Unfortunately, when I was swung up onto the broad back of this equine monster, I forgot that farmers speak literally, as the ‘foal’ was a foal, only it was also three years old, and sixteen hands high!

    Grass was great though!

  2. Pete,

    Newcastle-on-Tyne; as acknowledged by all to be the Centre of the known Universe!

  3. Mike Cunningham –

    The Toon eh?

    It was the centre of my universe for three years, Heaton and Jesmond mainly. Apparently I was at university but all I remember is sitting in a pub. Great days.

    That I came out with a degree shows what a doddle it must be to get one.

  4. Peter,
    “You see, dear reader, your humble correspondent pretty much grew up in this place.”

    YOU are related to Peter Hood of Epping Forest; cousin (twice removed) of ROBIN of Sherwood, that well know anti-Statist?? 😉

  5. “Newcastle-on-Tyne; as acknowledged by all to be the Centre of the known Universe”
    I thought you grew up in Jarrow?

  6. Great post Pete.

    I had a similar upbringing on the edge of a smoky city with woodland close by. Totally recommend it, and sad to see so many children who are confined to barracks, for whatever reason.

  7. I like forests too Pete.

    Many years ago (1961) the United States Marine Corps taught me how to survive in the boonies, ford rivers, rappel down cliffs, walk quietly through dry leaves and kill the enemy from behind green foliage and fallen trees.

    Life then (for me) was good!

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