I grew up in a small village in Devon. It was one of those villages where you know everyone, a wonderful place to grow up. Days were spent walking to the common at the top of the village with my sister, collecting sticks along the way to build dens and fires. Finding the steepest lane in the village to roller skate down clinging on to the bushes to stop us sliding right to the bottom. Helping my God mother at her allotment, digging, planting and watering. Although I think I spent most of the time searching for worms and making homes for them in little plant pots. Through the winter, my cousins and I would wait until the rain had made huge puddles in a road we would call ‘the pit’, we would jump on our bikes and spend the afternoon pedalling as fast as we could down the hill splashing through the water.
At the end of our garden we had a tall brown fence with high bushes that towered over from the neighbour’s garden. I remember playing outside in our wendy house listening to the new neighbours hearing children running up and down the garden. We soon became friends and pulled back the bushes to meet for chats on the fence with hot chocolates as the sun set. One of my most vivid memories of my childhood was at the bottom of the garden on her tree swing. I had clambered over the fence and we were both sat on the swing, a plank big enough for 2 children to sit on held up by old rope tied to the tree. We were swinging so high, both clinging on to the rope and each other. As we swung higher and higher our feet pushed through the leaves of the tree and we could see up to the blue sky, our toes almost touching the clouds, I felt as though I was on top of the world.
As a teenager I lived on the beach. As soon as the weekend came my friends and I would catch a bus followed by a train and a long walk. We explored the coast and found different spots to spend our day. Swimming through coves, chatting in the sunshine and making fires to keep warm as the sun set. We always left it too late and would have to run as fast as we could to catch the last train home.
The outdoors will always be a big part of my life. There is nothing I love more than grabbing our tent on a friday evening and spending the weekend camping and discovering new places to explore on the coast with long walks, bike rides and paddleboard adventures.