At that time we lived near three parks.
One was quite close to us,it had a bit of play equipment
but no trees or pretty bits - not much soul.
One was quite a walk away - maybe half an hour to get there,
it was beautiful,with woods and a big duck pond
but no play equipment....lots of soul but no toys.
And the third park was the one in the middle,
it had a few trees and maybe one piece of play equipment,
a big Wickstead Slide,so it had a bit of everything...
a toy and enough soul to please your tree loving mummy.
Now,some of you might know what I mean when I say a Wickstead Slide.
They were very tall slides,with at least twenty small steps
and at the top was a tiny platform that you stood on before
sitting down on the slide and pushing off on the journey to the bottom.
These slides were not for the faint hearted,they were tall
and once on the steps it was virtually impossible to turn back
and go down to safety,as there were usually a queue of people behind you.
No,once on the steps the only way off was to climb to the top and whizz down
that shiny,silver slide,no matter how terrified you were.
Well on the day I'am talking about there was no queue of children
jostling around the slide,we were the only people on the whole park.
This was not unusual,we would go to the park most days,
no matter what the weather was.
Lots of the actual details of this day are vague,
it was probably nineteen to twenty years ago
and it was not a particularly special day like a birthday,
so there is no reason for me to remember it so well,
but I do,
after all these years.
I remember you,
standing at the top of the slide,
holding a little parachute man.
One of those cheap party bag toys that promise so much and then never work.
You were launching it over the top of the slide,to see if it would fly.
You had the biggest smile on your face.
I stilll see that smile,even to this day.
You wore a little cap and you were so happy.
I sat on the grass below the slide and looked up at you.
There was no one else around.
Just me and you.
I remember looking up at you and smiling.
I wasn't worried that you were stood on the top of the tallest slide ever.
I didn't even twinge when you dangled your parachute man over the edge
and grinned and threw him down.
You were a capable child and I obviously trusted in your abilities,
or I would not have been sat down at the side of the slide,
smiling up at you.
Why ever this day sticks in my head I reallly do not know.
Tigs,we went to that park countless times.
But i do recall that day and it makes me smile...
A young mum and her young son playing on the park.