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Tony Grist

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50 Things To Do Before You're 11 3/4 [Apr. 13th, 2012|05:14 pm]
Tony Grist

This is the National Trust's list of 50 Things To Do Before You're 11 3/4. The ones I did I've printed in red
and the ones I didn't do I've printed in blue.

1. Climb a tree

2. Roll down a really big hill

3. Camp out in the wild

4. Build a den

5. Skim a stone

6. Run around in the rain

7. Fly a kite

8. Catch a fish with a net

9. Eat an apple straight from a tree

10. Play conkers

11. Throw some snow

12. Hunt for treasure on the beach

13. Make a mud pie

14. Dam a stream

15. Go sledging


16. Bury someone in the sand

17. Set up a snail race

18. Balance on a fallen tree

19. Swing on a rope swing

20. Make a mud slide

21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild

22. Take a look inside a tree

23. Visit an island

24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind

25. Make a grass trumpet

26. Hunt for fossils and bones

27. Watch the sun wake up

28. Climb a huge hill

29. Get behind a waterfall

30. Feed a bird from your hand

31. Hunt for bugs

32. Find some frogspawn

33. Catch a butterfly in a net

34. Track wild animals

35. Discover what’s in a pond

36. Call an owl

37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool

38. Bring up a butterfly

39. Catch a crab

40. Go on a nature walk at night


41. Plant it, grow it, eat it

42. Go wild swimming

43. Go rafting

44. Light a fire without matches

45. Find your way with a map and compass

46. Try bouldering (rock climbing outdoors but with safety mats and short drops)

47. Cook on a campfire

48. Try abseiling

49. Find a geocache (use GPS and other navigational aides to locate hidden containers.)

50. Canoe down a river

My score is 21. I've tried to play fair. I'm not counting things I did after I was 11 3/4. Some things I just can't remember. Did I make a mud slide? God knows. Others I tried to do and failed at- notably flying a kite. Does burning plastic toys with  a magnifying glass count as making a fire without matches? I doubt it.

linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: akirlu
2012-04-13 05:19 pm (UTC)
Some of those things are weirdly specific. I went fishing as a kid, but not with a net. I remember learning how to kill the fish by sticking my thumb in its mouth and using that leverage to break the spine, so possibly I caught fish myself. I certainly ate many kinds of berries in the wild, and fruit straight from the tree, but blackberries specifically are not that common in either Sweden or California, so dunno about them. I am somewhat inclined to lump the frogspawn, what's in a pond, and going 'wild' swimming together in one rather than get three separate credits for them, but whatever. I score roughly 37.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-04-13 05:30 pm (UTC)
37 is impressive.

Blackberries are the only wild fruits that are at all common in Britain. I'm sure your other types of berry are valid within the spirit of the game.
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[User Picture]From: akirlu
2012-04-13 06:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, Britain is sadly over-domesticated in some ways. Among the berries I've eaten wild that grow wild in Sweden: raspberries, cloudberries, huckleberries, lingonberries, wild strawberries, and one or two varieties I don't have English names for. I think my score is high because a normal, ordinary Swedish childhood just has much more contact with nature than an ordinary British one. Swimming in a lake or pond wasn't weird or special to me, swimming in an actual swimming pool was.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-04-13 06:55 pm (UTC)
There are things called bilberries that grow on the hills round here. They're tiny but perfectly edible.

I grew up in the London suburbs, but within walking distance of some properly wild woods. And we used to holiday by the sea.
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[User Picture]From: akirlu
2012-04-13 07:52 pm (UTC)
I was born into the working class in a smallish industrial town in Sweden. (The Bofors guns, which I imagine you may have heard of, were all built in my home town.) The nearest woods were just on the other side of my grandparents' back hedge and then across the small public playground there. That wood wasn't very big, but big enough to have trees and moss-covered granite boulders to climb; assorted wildflowers, berries, and mushrooms to forage for; an old, broken down, moss-covered stone wall to explore; anthills to molest, and so forth. In summer we fished and swam and collected crayfish in various local lakes. When we moved to the suburbs of Stockholm, it was actually a wilder place, because our area was mostly summer houses. The wild deer would come sleep on our back lawn, and foxes and hedgehogs came to the back door to eat the scraps my mother left or them. My main playmate at the time lived across the road and their house was right on the lake, so in summer we fed swans off their jetty, and in winter we skated from the jetty to the island in the middle of the lake.

Well, thinking back, it's no wonder I hated California when we moved there.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-04-13 09:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, I've heard of the Bofors gun. I hadn't realised it was Swedish.

I have a mental picture of the Swedish countryside from watching art house movies. Your description of your childhood landscape makes me think of Bergman's Wild Strawberries.
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[User Picture]From: bohemiancoast
2012-04-19 07:41 am (UTC)
It's a British list, and that activity of fishing for minnows with a net feels peculiarly British. Obviously fishing for actual fish you can eat would count; I think they're trying to demonstrate that there are simple little things you can do.

I'm pretty sure we did bouldering when I was a child, except without the safety mats and the short drops. We just, you know, climbed rocks. And we fell down a bit too.

Calimac's mention of climbing chicken-wire (I remember being able to do that easily as a small child) makes me think about generating an urban child's version of this, with playing football in the street, taking a bus on your own, spotting wild foxes, eating discarded fruit from market stalls, visiting free museums, hanging out on a street corner, breaking into a building site...
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