We had an abundance of wild apple trees in our back garden, accompanied by a small pear tree in the top left corner growing over from the neighboring property. It was a modest garden that stretched a great distance with a raised bed toward the back filled with various flowers, both wild and planted.
To the left was a newly built BBQ area with a bench on the outer wall facing the house. Rhubarb grew plentifully beneath the apples trees which father used for crumble as an after dinner treat. My brothers and I often played in the garden; running rings around one another, destroying the plants and wondering what our parents would say if we were to pick the Rhubarb and threw it at each others faces.
I remember riding my first bike. It had stabilizers and shiny tassels hanging from the handle bars just to jazz things up a little bit. I think the bike was pink…or maybe purple, with white wheels and a very uncomfortable seat. After a week of reluctant cycling on a hilly estate, I rode the bike without stabilizers for the first time. The joy I felt on this day is incomparable to anything I’ve felt since.
The hill at the end of the road led to a large field that was often used for firework displays on Bonfire night – my favourite time of the year. My brothers and I often played on the field with the neighboring kids , doing whatever pre-teens used to do in the 90’s. The days were always the same and rarely different, until one event changed the course of our childhood freedom. I was pottering in the field, probably making daisy chains and trudging through dog shit when I turned my head to see a car had stopped at the at the end of the field. My eldest brother, James, stood at the passenger seat window. I don’t remember how long they were stood talking but before I knew it James began to run up to the top of the field toward the house. To my understanding today, the teenagers tried to entice James into the car with treats but thankfully he didn’t take the bait. If ever an event were to raise the guard and change the mind of a weak, young child, this was it.
There were 8 apples trees in the back garden accompanying the lonesome pear tree. The branches crawled toward the center of the garden like old hands in the winter time, and in the spring they gifted us with blossom and inviting scents. Oh, how I miss the apple trees.