Guest Post: Ian Swinton

Ian is a blogger and football fan. He lives in the north of England, and has two blogs.
https://idhope.wordpress.com/
http://halftimepie.co.uk/

This is his own short bio.

‘Ian is from Northern England and writes about his everyday experiences and family times. He is aged 45 and has been blogging for 5 years now mainly writing about daily life and his other passion of football where he writes and runs another website. To follow his personal blog do so here https://idhope.wordpress.com/ or if you like follow his football site here http://halftimepie.co.uk/’

End of school holidays.

My son returns to high school on Wednesday going into year 9 which marks the start of his GCSE qualifications. Every year he has his six weeks off during the summer term it takes me back to when I was his age and memories of the time I had.

Over the years as parents we always had to juggle the summer holidays between us making sure our son was looked after either by us or our parents. Now he is a teenager, things are much more relaxed and easier. As he is very responsible he can fend for himself for a few hours and look after the dogs whilst we are at work. Fortunately I work shifts which means I have plenty of time off in the week or I am around in the mornings. With my wife working Monday to Friday, it is quite infrequent when our son is on his own at home.

I have managed to take quite a bit of time off this six weeks holidays which has allowed me to spend some quality time with my son. At the start of the holidays you wonder how they will fill their time and six weeks feels like a lifetime that the children are off. However, by the time he is due back to school it feels like the whole time has gone very quickly.

This holiday we had quite a settled period of weather especially for the first few weeks which in Northern England is no mean feat I can tell you.I managed to repair his mountain bike which had been sat in the shed for sometime looking sorry for itself. This allowed him to get out with his friends and get some fresh air and exercise. Sadly the bike finally gave up halfway through the holiday and had to be taken to the recycling centre but for those first few weeks, he loved every minute and got him away from electronics. We have managed day trips out to various places and attractions around the North West and Wales which has been fun. Overall we as parents have managed the 6 weeks well meaning we have all spent some quality time together whether out exploring, at home baking or just having family time.

When I was a teenager way back in the mid 1980`s, I did not have the same luxuries but my memories of those holidays are of endless days out playing with my friends from dawn to dusk. We only had four television channels to watch all the children’s television programmes on like Roland Rat and various cartoons that would be on all morning.

I did not own a computer console until I was around 13 or 14 years old. My dad bought a second hand Atari console off his work mate so I used to play classic games like Pacman, Pitfall, Donkey Kong, Asteroids to name a few. All iconic arcade games with what are now seen as shockingly poor graphics.

My parents worked throughout the summer holidays never taking time off to look after me like we now do as parents ourselves. I wasn’t given a house key until I was in my teenage years. My dad worked all week until around 4pm and my mum worked part time and was home by 11am. I would wake in the morning, sort my own breakfast and knock on for my pals and play various sports all day on the local fields. I loved it and only returned home if it was time to eat.

My memories are of endless games of cricket, football, playing on our bikes, exploring and making dens in the woods all innocent stuff until it was time for dinner. Then straight after dinner, I was out again until it started to go dark. We were lucky to have the fields and woods only a couple of minutes walk from home so we never ventured too far. It is funny how we as parents seem more protective of our children yet we grew up with such freedom. You would think we would allow our children that same amount of freedom but I worry about my son crossing roads, where he goes and whom with.

With the electronic age of Xbox, etc and the internet the new playing out is really staying in and gaming whilst talking to each other online. It seems safer in respect of children being at home but I cannot help but think how much children are losing out by not playing out and “being kids”. Whether that be climbing and falling out of trees, building dens, playing army or just playing sports which keeps you healthy.

Generations change and you cannot stop that. So as my son returns to school and another summer holiday ends, I fondly look back on my summer holidays that felt endless and were special times growing up.

Please check out Ian’s other posts, and if you enjoy football, his other blog is a must-see!

18 thoughts on “Guest Post: Ian Swinton

  1. Like Ian, I spent much of my childhood out in the fields and woods. My summers were often spent carving out new trails with an ax and sickle, or building tree forts high off the ground. The trails were used for walking, bicycling, and trail biking. We had multiple tree forts in a cluster of trees (walnuts?), and so they became a social venue. Every summer, without fail, I came down with poison ivy, so that at length I had rashes in pretty much every part of my body imaginable. We didn’t really play any sports in the neighborhood, but we did other things, like exploring extensive storm sewers without a flashlight, or building roads in dirt embankments for toy vehicles. I never had a video game, and never hung out in arcades. But I used to carve names and numbers into wood using a magnifying glass and the power of the summer sun. And I collected coins…

    I very much appreciate Ian’s memories of his childhood. And I agree with him that it’s a shame that today’s kids mostly choose to confine themselves to the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David. I see lots of kids playing over at Beetley Meadows, and riding around on their bikes. But I believe that inner-city and big town life for young people is mostly spent inside these days.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you add in the my generations memories of childhood going back 60 years they are very similar to yours Ian which just goes to show the huge difference technology has made to this generation. Sounds like you had a great summer that you will all remember. Time together is precious especially at your son’s age, they fly the nest soon enough. Very enjoyable thanks Pete for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

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