I'm going through my brain and picking out some memories from my past that I fear I might lose because they're so detached from my current life. I'll share one with you all today.
Please imagine the countryside to look like this while you read my post. This isn't my photo, and this isn't exactly the same place, so some features that I talk about here aren't in that photo, but the general idea looks very very similar.
I remember that every summertime we (my family and I) all used to go up to "the lakes", which is just the name of a specific area we'd go to that happened to be next to a lake. We all called this specific small area "the lakes".
I remember that we had to pay to camp at the lakes in our motorhome. Many other families were there too, in their motorhomes or caravans or tents. Later on as we grew up and got bigger and smellier we got a tent too, and some people slept in there instead.
I remember that there was a boat ramp for people to go sailing in the lake. We would go sailing sometimes too. In later years my father would participate in boat races, until one time someone else ran into the boat by accident with their boat, and then we couldn't go sailing anymore because the boat would be very expensive to repair.
I remember that either side of the boat ramp and a little further towards the lake were outcrops that people would fish from. My father would fish here along with a couple of other families but I found it super boring and also rather cruel and I also don't think fish taste very good. I think that sometimes one person went on each outcrop and then they would watch and yell at each other across the channel and compete to see who could catch more fish. It would be funny if they caught each other, but this didn't happen.
I remember that it was always really hot, being summer, and you've already seen how unpleasant the vegetation on the ground was. The motorhome didn't have air conditioning. Thankfully it was cooler at night and in the breeze, but it was always extremely hot inside the motorhome. If we left the windows or door open to cool us down, sandflies would get in and bite us.
I remember that there were really smelly toilets that thankfully did at least flush, and there were taps but the water from them wasn't safe to drink. We had to fill plastic bottles with water and bring them with us to drink from. All the cups in the motorhome were made of plastic. Drinking room temperature water from plastic cups in the immense heat is definitely not as nice as drinking cool water from the tap in a glass made of glass. There wasn't any electricity there, it was just us and nature. And many other campers, but the area was large enough that we had space.
I remember that on one side of the area I explored, someone had dug out parts of the ground to make some quite small bike jumps. On later visits, we would bring our own bikes and ride on the jumps ourselves too, which was actually quite fun.
I remember that one time I was arguing with a younger kid about something I don't remember, and I said something really cool and started to ride away on my bike in satisfaction, and then I rolled over a really small rock, tipped over, cut myself somehow, and started to bawl my eyes out. I can still see the scar on my leg very faintly today.
I remember that past the bike jumps was a pathway through the trees fairly near to the shore, which went on for several minutes. I liked walking along that path. I wonder if it's still walkable today.
I remember when a guy drank far, far too much and my father, a doctor, was called to over to have a look at him. He didn't seem to have much brain function. There isn't mobile phone reception there, so he had to drive some way to make a phone call for the emergency services to pick the guy up and take him to the hospital. Something in my head wants to say that he got helicoptered out, but I don't think that's true, because I don't remember a helicopter at this time. New Year's Eve is summer here, so that's the reason why he'd drunk so much.
I remember when we did our countdown for the new year and then a couple of minutes later we heard the tent next door doing their countdown very loudly because their clocks were set differently from ours. This was very funny.
I remember that past the boat ramp the other way from the bike jumps was a pebble beach that in the later years we'd hang out on, but gravel beaches don't provide much entertainment on their own (compare to sand beaches), so we'd sit in our portable deck chairs that we very awkwardly carried all the way over and read a book while being cold from the lake breeze and in pain from the insect bites. That wasn't one of my favourite things to do.
I remember that on a side path in the direction of the bike jumps was a willow tree. Near to it was a hole in the ground a couple of feet wide and long, and several inches deep. I remember that me and my brothers covered the hole with realistic looking foliage to make a trap for an unsuspecting stranger to step in, but later that day we realised that somebody might actually break a bone stepping in it, which would be especially bad without the ability to call an ambulance, so we went and tore it down.
I remember that the highlight of the whole area for the children was the tree house and tire swing underneath it. In the first couple of years we somewhat befriended a child from the family that camps right next to the tree, who claimed to have built the tree house. Of course, we believed him. But every year, something would be different about the tree house — the people in it, the people camped around it, and the people claiming that they built it. I remember spending many, many hours on or under the tree house, reading again books that I'd already read before.
I remember that this kid, about the same age as us, convinced us that the world was like a CD with the normal world on top and a secret world on the other side of it, and by closing your eyes and imagining really hard you could go to the secret world. The secret world had dragons and stuff. I was a dragon in it. I'm not sure how much I actually believed that at the time, but I definitely went along with the imagination.
I wonder if I'll ever go back there. It was mostly really boring because sadly sitting in nature gets old rather quickly and you have to find something to occupy your mind. It would be cool if I went there with a purpose.
Once day I'd like to go there with a camera and a GPS device and find out just how much stuff there is that I haven't seen before, as well as see how the stuff I've seen before has changed since I last visited a few years ago.