WARREN HAYDEN: I’m not too old to do childish things

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Taking my daughters for a day out in Portsmouth and making the most of the city we live in often brings back childhood memories which bring a smile to my face.

It also gives me a high dose of nostalgia.

There is something strange and peculiar, yet fulfilling, about visiting a place with my children that my parents would take me to when I was a child.

When on a walk along the esplanade, making our way from Eastney to Southsea, my daughters still follow the pattern of the paving stones instead of walking in a straight line.

It’s exactly what I did when I was their age.

Sadly, as an adult, it looks rather odd to walk along the pavement in this way. But, if no one is around, I might have a go – even if it does make our walk twice as long as it would have been.

Then there is the beautiful Canoe Lake where I would get so close to the edge that my mum would be a nervous wreck, worried that I would fall in to the crab-infested water.

Luckily, I never did.

Now it’s my daughters, Caitlin and Alyssa, who are millimetres away from falling in the water and it’s me who is the nervous wreck.

So far they’ve kept their balance and know not to get too close to the edge, just in case.

I did once see a young boy fall in Canoe Lake and be fished back out by his mother who, unsurprisingly, wasn’t happy.

When I was a young child my dad would play golf at Great Salterns course in Portsmouth and I would go with him.

I had responsibilities. I was part caddy and part golf ball picker-upper after the eighteen holes were complete and the score card was full up,

I’d hope that my dad would take me into the nearby Farmhouse family pub where there was a soft play area. Sometimes he did.

All parents know that for children there is nothing more fun than soft play.

Back then it was tiny but all these years later it is much larger and it’s fun to see my daughters enjoying the multicoloured ball pit just like I did when I was their age.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m very tempted to take off my shoes and join them, but sadly parents aren’t allowed.

Even now when we visit my parents, the girls’ grandparents, they love to race from the car to the lift to see who can be the first to press the button – just like my sister and I used to do when we were children.

Amongst siblings, getting to press the lift button is a great honour.

But their daddy hasn’t lost his touch, sometimes he still gets to the lift first.