We called it the Wreck. It was a playground with swings and slides and big metal pipes that you could crawl through or climb on. The outside was concrete and inside was metal. One of them was quite long, like a tunnel, you had to crawl through it, the others were shorter. We went there one day in winter. Dad brought me and Jim and Roseanne and then went off somewhere. When we were in the Wreck I realized how cold it was, and how windy it was. We all did. I tried to get out of the wind. I tried each of the metal pipes but the wind blew right through them.
Jim and Roseanne were running around, on the slide, on the swings. I was crouched inside the pipe trying to get warm again. I’d never felt so cold.
“It’s okay if you run around a bit, you do warm up,” they said.
I didn’t want to move. I knew that if I moved I’d feel colder, I’d feel the wind even stronger. It was getting darker than when we arrived. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my toes.
Dad came back and we walked home. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t noticed how cold it was when we were going to the Wreck. My feet hurt from the cold. It was nearly dark by the time we got home. Mum rubbed my hands to get them warmed up. Dad brought in a basin of warm water but she said no, that was the worst thing you could do. I didn’t want to stick my hands or my feet in a basin of water. It took me a whole episode of “The Time Tunnel” to get warm again.
This piece is taken from “1000 Memories”, available as a Kindle book here (UK) or here (US).