Winters were great when we were kids. Massive snow falls every year, snow ball fights, snowmen – it was the best! Nowadays it’s pretty paltry by comparison.
In my house we had a living room that stretched from the front of the house to the back. Just in front of our house was a street lamp that glowed orange. When it snowed, the fun I had running from the front of the house watching the flakes fall against the backdrop of the orange light, before running to the back window and staring out into the black night where the snowflakes appeared to be falling even heavier!
Our house was perfectly placed for the winter joys. Only a few hundred yards away at the end of our street was a field with a great big, long hill. It made the perfect winter slope. Every year we would spend hours playing on those slopes without a care in the world how cold it was.
My stepdad worked at a plastic material factory. Because we didn’t have much money, my mum made me and my sister matching waterproof outfits, from coat with hood, to trousers and even gloves. We were the driest, warmest, toastiest kids on our estate.
When I was about eight or nine, my uncle gave me his old sledge. Before then we just used to use black bin bags or plastic bags from the farm that had the word ‘nitram’ on them – which turned out was Martin, backwards. It was a wooden sledge with painted red runners that had faded with use. I loved that sledge. I still was using it when I was sixteen and it was well too small for me.
This was about the time when plastic sledges were becoming popular because they were cheaper than the traditional sledges, lighter to carry and faster. Back then the bragging stakes were high for the fastest sledge. But thanks to my uncle, I walked away with that title every year. My sledge was awesome and blew all the pretenders to the throne, away!
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