In days gone by, long before gaming consoles, mobile phones and in fact generally most of technology, our playground was the great outdoors. I’ve always been a country girl, ten minutes one way and you were in the sprawling countryside and ten minutes in the other you were at the sea, the best of both worlds some might say, and they would be right.
Imagination played a big part in most of my endeavours, because it really did open up the world around me, endless possibilities arising from the sometimes mundane every day.
One day, while venturing literally five minutes from my home I discovered the most beautiful place that I have never forgotten, I named it ‘Primrose Hill’.
The funniest thing about Primrose Hill was the fact that there was no actual hill. The process of reaching it however did pose a few problems and may have been considered a bit of a virtual hill to climb.
Firstly you had to walk through a field of cows, which I have to say sometimes scared the bejeesus out of me, especially when the bull was in residence. It was hard to traverse around the cow pats when you were trying to keep one eye on the ground and one on the livestock.
Secondly, there was a fence. These days I’d look at it and think, oh it’s a fence, but when I was younger it felt like a 10 foot wall. On my first excursion I considered turning back, but I was a curious child, so I carried on regardless.
Next was another smaller field, the grass longer here because there was no access for animals to be put in to graze. This was also the first glimpse of the primroses, little clumps of gorgeous yellow peeking through the brownish green.
At this point I must actually correct myself, because there was a small hill, a gentle incline, but nothing more. Easier to climb than the fence, it was the gateway to what I can only describe as pure heaven below.
There before me was Primrose Hill. Low hanging trees bowed down to the water which was in the form of a beautiful meandering river, touched only by sunlight and a few fiesty insects who dared to descend. On the bank of the river were stones, smooth and worn from years of being greeted by the rising and falling current of the water. Everywhere else there were primroses, turning their little heads to the sun, basking in the light falling between the trees. I was captivated.
It hard to put into words how beautiful it was, how the light fell on the water illuminating the ripples and stones underneath, the sound of the river bubbling by, the birds singing in greenery and the gentle breeze rustling through the grass making the little primroses shiver despite the warmth of the sun.
Do I make it sound whimsical and magical, well that’s because to me, in that moment, it was.
It was a step away from the ordinary into the something quite special. I felt like an intrepid explorer must when they discover new lands. I didn’t write back then, however had I, I can imagine many words would have been written in ‘Primrose Hill’
I have doubts that now, or even then for that matter that the place about which I am writing looked quite as magical as I remember, but then isn’t that where the aforementioned imagination comes into play. Regardless of what others might have thought, Primrose Hill became my playground for a summer and it still lives on in my heart.