Day 11 of Blogvember. A full list of prompts for the month is available.

I miss my childhood. It was such a different era; it’s hard to recognise my childhood as an experience compared with those of my kids.

The memories of my childhood seem like something that should be written off as me looking back through rose-coloured glasses. But I contest that not everything was great and nice, but it really was what retro throwbacks show the 1980s to be.

Some of my key memories across a relatively wide age range include:

  • Leaving the house to ride my bike around the streets without saying where I was going. I didn’t know where I was going - how could I tell others?
  • Staying out until dusk then going home to either my own home, or my friend’s house for dinner. I think I almost split my time 50:50.
  • Riding our BMX bikes through citrus orchards where dirt bike jumps had been constructed, and getting mega air.
  • Playing pick-up basketball all day, and sweating litres.
  • Playing multi-day games of Monopoly. Leaving it set up to pick up the next day.
  • Climbing trees - but never as well as my friend.
  • Spending hours throwing a ball against a wall, then playing a solid cricket stroke when it bounced back to me.
  • Backyard camping for days (maybe even weeks?) on end. We had a big block, so we could pitch the tent in the back yard and be invisible from the house.
  • Playing a season of Under 13’s cricket and being completely isolated by the other boys - and the coach. (Things are much better in this regard now, it seems.)
  • Abseiling, rock climbing and other cool activities at school that probably wouldn’t be allowed anymore.

I’m proud of my childhood. I had enough freedom to be adventurous and I managed to avoid any major dangers. I learnt to know my limits and stay within them. I had a sense of place in my suburb.

If I had a time machine, I would happily go back to the early 1980s and do it all again.