Cardboard cartons have numerous uses… usually involving packing and carrying of any number and size of a variety of goods… and such did ours… they were carriers of food to Te Maika. But once that food had arrived and was unpacked those cartons were put to a much more fun activity… transport for my brothers and me down grassy slopes.
We helped disgorge the contents of those cartons as quickly as possible because they then became ours! The bach is nestled into the hillside and, after a year of growth (except for the sporadic grazing of various beasts), the grass was long as were numerous prickly bushes among scattered around. The first attempts to slide down the slopes were more to flatten the grass and the prickles than anything but soon tracks were worn and it became a challenge to see who could slide the furthest, from the highest point and over the biggest bumps… until those cartons fell to so many pieces they were no longer ride-able!
Parents left us to explore new personal boundaries unless called upon…
“Mum! Dad! Come and see this jump!”
“Mum! Dad! Come and watch!”
Photographs were occasional and black and white so “moments” were not recorded every step of the way. And accidents?… Don’t remember any of those either!
It seems that each generation of children seem to be little more cautious…Today’s children prefer to take old plastic boogie boards to the sand hills… are they afraid of the prickles and horse manure?? In truth, the grass and prickles have been taken over by bracken… much harder to break down and slide over than grass and prickles!
And last holidays, with all the grandkids, we rode hard plastic kayaks down the sandhill… the quest to reach the bottom of hills as quickly as possible is one that children (and adults) must conquer, it seems!