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13 November 2014

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You are in: Shropshire > Radio Shropshire > Presenters > Colin Young's diary

Colin Young

Colin Young

Colin Young's diary

Find out what Colin Young gets up to when he isn't presenting shows on BBC Radio Shropshire.

Thursday, 23 April

It's just great to see the sun streaming through your curtains isn't it?

Especially if you've got the day off and you can actually get round to washing your car, or cutting the lawn, or just enjoy being outside for a while.

And days like that make you think, don't they, about whether the summers really were longer, warmer and brighter, when you were little.

I bet like me, you can remember days where you packed a jam sandwich and a bottle of pop after breakfast, cycled off to find a few mates and head off for the great outdoors for hours at a time, often not returning home before dusk.

How often do you let your own children stay out all day, now?

You might want to, but how easy is it to 'let go'?

The other day I was faced with that kind of dilemma. Our youngest is 12, and like her big sister, is completely fearless about getting up on stage to dance or sing. But outside's a different story.

When you have boys, you probably get used to seeing them clamber up trees and dangle perilously over your head, grinning mischievously. But as someone once sang in the eighties - it's different for girls.

Ours have never swung from branches, kayaked down rushing rapids or ever tried anything remotely dangerous.

Until last week, that is.

Our youngest asked to go on an adventure course through the forest. Sounded OK. You got a harness, a couple of hooks, a chat with the instructor, access to a few rope walks and zip wires through the trees. Sounded fun.

She was desperate to try it. Then we looked up.

Some of the wires you had to hurtle yourself along were at least fifty feet above our heads. There were no safety nets. All you needed was complete faith in your child having understood, and heeded the instructor's words. Then you needed to let go. While hoping, naturally, that she didn't.

My other half went pale. Our daughter ran for the starting point, clipping and unclipping herself to wires; yelping with delight as they rushed her from platform to scrambling net; from the net to a mid-air skateboard (yes, a skateboard... forty feet up) and on to rope ladders and wobbly net tunnels - all connected to the tallest pine trees I'd ever seen, between thirty and fifty feet above our heads.

My heart was in my mouth. My other half's head was in her hands. And our daughter had the time of her life. We'd let go. (She didn't, fortunately, though I'm told the clips would have caught her!)

And only weeks from now, we've got to do it all again with our eldest. Not a rope ladder or safety net in sight. Just a big city; a university; a pile of books and a room full of people she's never set eyes on before.

Now that's another challenge altogether.

I'll keep you posted!

last updated: 23/04/2009 at 18:51
created: 29/09/2006

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