It’s only now I appreciate my countryside childhood

SCENIC Cheryl grew up in the countryside
SCENIC Cheryl grew up in the countryside
Mutiny Festival 2017 Picture: Paul Windsor

Keep children safe – but beware the nanny state

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I’m turning into my mother. Fact. I grew up in the countryside, amongst the flora and fauna. Weekends would often revolve around trips out, which would involve a car journey because that’s what we did as children – travelled a lot.

My mum wasn’t happy unless she travelled to the Chichester Tesco to get our weekly groceries – and we lived in Horndean!

Even back then there was plenty of local shopping choice, but my dear old ma loves a good drive.

En route she would point out the joys of living on the south coast.

‘We’re so lucky’, she’ d say, ‘just 30 minutes from the coast, an hour-and-a-half from London and 10 minutes from the countryside – you can’t get much better than that.’

She often said this whilst winding down the car windows so we could all get a whiff of the overbearing manure smell that was wafting from the fields.

‘Take a deep breath in girls, that’s the stuff,’ she smiled.

Seriously, I thought she was bonkers. But now that I’m older and live right in town, I can understand and appreciate what she was doing and how lucky we were.

I heard a noise outside my house the other day. I couldn’t work out what it was – and then I realised it was a bird. I couldn’t live more ‘in town’ if I tried and having a concrete courtyard instead of a green garden means nature doesn’t usually frequent my property, so I was overjoyed by its presence.

But the shocking realisation that I am in fact a ‘mini me’ of my mother came when my partner Matt and I were driving through Bedhampton the other day and I was overcome by the beautiful display of yellow tulips.

I’m told (by my mother) that they’re planted by members of Bedhampton Volunteers, who give up their time to make the area look really attractive.

I was so amazed by the display that I insisted we pull over to take some piccies.

‘What’s next?’ asked Matt.

‘Bird watching?’

Lucikly for me, he wasn’t around during the ‘bird in the garden’ moment and so doesn’t know just how excited I got.