When we were young teenagers my sister & myself would always enjoy our ‘adventure days’ together. School holidays were always the excuse to gather a few friends and go off on our ‘Adventure to Africa’. Actually it was a trek to a wooded area about two miles away from our home village!
We had our ‘gang’ and we each knew who was leader ‘Chief’ for the day. Sometimes we would venture well into the forest following the slow running stream as it trickled and meandered towards ‘Millers Pond’, an area we all knew very well. My sister Lorraine was as tough as any boy and often had to arm wrestle to regain her place as leader with me. Our pals George & Barry were twins, Harry, Graham, Kath & Trevor were our usual group and many times we were joined by Brenda with her Border Collie dog.
On one such adventure we arrived at our regular ‘campsite’ and pulled out our big canvas sheet that we had hidden beneath a tree and camouflaged with branches & leaves. We quickly put up the sturdy branches that we used as tent supports and our canvas shelter was soon our home for the day. Four of us, myself & Lorraine, Brenda & Harry, would strip down to ‘knickers’ and use mud and ‘river muck’ to mark our chests as gang people. We never really got the others to take any clothes off. The sight of young breasts and bared chests were sometimes just too much for some ‘weakies’ and it made it very easy to maintain our leader status. We made our site markers by fastening a long piece of rope around a few tree’s and draping our clothes over the rope lines. We had many ways & plans to fill up our day and it always seemed that the day went too quickly. George & Barry seemed to be able to guess quite well what the time would be, they had a knack of knowing by their ‘belly rumbles’ how near to home time we would be getting. Lorraine & Brenda soon got up onto our ‘rope & tyre’ swing and got it swinging wildly as they impersonated their female versions of Tarzan & Jane, they also did impressive ‘monkey noises’ as they also were pet monkey’s of Tarzan and Jane. We waded along the stream as we pretended to look for fish, we never saw anything remotely resembling a fish! We sometimes spotted an old tramp called ‘Stinko Bob’ at his own little camp-fire place at the western side of the woods. We avoided him and his smell and made our way back to camp. Lorraine & Brenda were getting dressed again and we all started to pack up. This day was almost done, the long walk home would complete our day as we sang & laughed, jumped on walls, skipped & tripped, back to our tea’s & normal home times.
We totally enjoyed these adventure days, now way too far back in history, not too many off us survived. My sister passed away in 1996, Trevor in 1990, George & Barry emigrated to New Zealand in 1975 and Brenda married a London executive and lives in Chelsea. Over the years that have gone by way too quickly I have thought & pondered how life was for us way back then, young teens wondering off miles from home, playing in forests, no real idea of time and certainly no way of contacting anyone else, no fears or worries (apart from Stinko Bob). I wonder if todays teens would leave there phones & tablets at home and adventure away as we did? What’s your guess ?