Aside from making me very homesick for the small village where I raised my children, Nellie’s post, ‘Village Life,’ is a beautiful, beautiful post in answer to our writing prompt Describe the place you grew up in. A masterclass in evocative writing, I can almost touch Nellie and her friends as they cycle carefree through their days. Thank you, Nellie, for that taste again of childhood scrapes, whimsy and innocence. Ed.

I grew up in a village called Hurst, near Reading and Wokingham in Berkshire. Back in the 70s it had very few pavements and no street lights. Life was very easy then and it didn’t seem to rain.

We lived in an old forge, close to the pub (of which there were lots) with fields behind us stretching as far as the eye could see. We used to ride on the fields, part of which became a golf course and country park. When the fields were being dug up the lorries carrying the gravel to the A329M used to rattle past the house on a regular basis.

With no public transport we rode or cycled everywhere, carefree, we used to amble on horseback for hours or scuttle off on our bikes – no cycle helmets and flared dungarees flapping in the chains. Danger didn’t seem to exist in our childhood, all we knew was we needed to cross the B3030 or A321 safely …

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