30 Before 30: #10 Go Sledging

If you’re daft enough to follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, you should. I’m really very good at Twittering), you’ll know that on Friday and Saturday I was sulking because even though it was snowing in the UK, it hadn’t snowed enough for me to go sledging. To be more accurate – it had snowed enough to facilitate sledging almost everywhere else, but not where I live.

Sledging is one of my 30 before 30. It’s not that I haven’t been sledging before, I have – I did lots of sledging when I was a kid and when it used to snow lots. But that’s exactly the point. Maybe, when I was younger, I assumed that it would snow every year, and every year I could go sledging. Maybe I never quite realised that sometimes, it wouldn’t snow at all. And maybe I failed to realise that as I grew up, sledging would become much less of a priority and that there would even come a time where I might be considered “too old” to go sledging. Somehow, I’d never factored any of this in.

The last time I remember going sledging was with my brother in a nearby field. We built ramps out of the snow and even though I was so cold I felt like my fingers were going to drop off (despite the gigantic mittens my mum had sent me outside with), it was the most fun ever and it’s one of my fondest childhood memories.

After that, there was a bit of a snow lull for quite a few years. I mean it would get cold, it would get icy, it might even snow but it was only ever an icing-sugar dusting and would be gone again within a day or so.

Childhood disappeared, quickly followed by my teens and as I hit my twenties I realised I was growing up and there wouldn’t be another opportunity to go sledging, y’know because, I was becoming an “adult”. Worse still, I wouldn’t be able to go sledging with my brother in the field near our house because he was already an adult. A proper one. With a job and everything. Also, my parents had moved house so we didn’t live near that field anymore. And also the sledge went to a charity shop when my parents moved house. All things considered, it didn’t look I was going to go sledging ever again.

So I just got on with being a grown up. Soon, I had a job and paid taxes and went to the supermarket for my weekly shop and did things like report the faulty boiler to the landlord. Maturity brings a certain amount of responsibility. The older you get, the more responsibilities you get. The more responsibility you get, the less childish amazing fun stuff you can do. That’s just science.

Responsibility graph

Then, when I was in my mid-twenties, we had two really snowy winters. It was so snowy in both of those years, that I landed a WHOLE DAY off work in each year.

But I did not go sledging.

Perhaps, by this point, I’d admitted defeat. I must have waited twenty years for it to snow enough to go sledging with my brother and now we were adults and it wasn’t going to happen. So I just stayed home and watched DVDs.

Then we had a couple snow-free winters, and I kept catching myself looking out of the window and hoping it would snow enough to go sledging. So when I wrote my 30 before 30 list, I decided that ‘going sledging’ should definitely go on there. If it snowed again before I was 30, I would definitely go sledging and just get it out of my system.

So, fast-forward to Sunday. The light spattering of snow we’d had here was already disolving into a grey, icy mush. It looked very much like another sledge-free winter was going to pass me by.

Then my friend (also called Jo)and I arranged to take our dogs for a walk in a small town near the pennines… Where there was substantially more snow. “Shall I bring the sledge?” she asked.

This is all very mathmatical and complicated, so please consult the equation below:

Snow equation

Finally, I went sledging.

And I was chased my puppy Izzy (the one wearing a high-visibility dog coat) and my friend Jo’s dog, Dillon (the dog shaped one).

Sledging with dogs

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Comments: 7

  1. MillionMonkeys January 25, 2013 at 11:39 am Reply

    I would love to go sledging again! My most recent experience was a bit later than yours – in the first year of uni, we had the most amazing snow day when everyone on campus was out playing in the snow. In the absence of sledges, we sledged down a rather steep hill on bin bags. It was great. I guess being a student and living in halls falls far enough down the responsibility scale for snow-based fun. Ah, nostalgia…

    • Jo and the Novelist January 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm Reply

      Ah, bin bag sledging! Yes, I remember nagging my grandma and grandad to let me go sledging and gave it a go on a hin bag. And also a tea tray. The bin bag was more successful…

  2. joanne adams January 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm Reply

    This was a much more fun sledging experience than my last one where I broke my wrist. It has given me a good memory of sledging. Xx

    • Jo and the Novelist January 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm Reply

      No broken limbs here, Jo! Although I’m not keen on the idea of kneeling while sledging. That seems to spell danger, to me.

  3. Rik January 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm Reply

    I really don’t remember going sledging at all. I’m sure we did, though. That’s age for you. Don’t expect to remember your 30 before 30 after you turn 30, that’s all I’m saying.

    Your age/responsibilities graph is accurate, although you do need to factor in ‘worrying needlessly about stupid things that really don’t matter at all’ between the ages of 12-21.

    Finally: if you and your friend are both sledging, and the dogs are both in the picture – who the hell took the picture? Or was there a third dog, trained to operate a camera phone?

    • Jo and the Novelist January 30, 2013 at 8:45 am Reply

      I don’t know why I remember it so clearly, but it was one of those freakishly snowy winters and we went sledging down a field behind our neighbour’s house (I’m sure she loved having two kids stomping through her house with sledges all day). I kept popping home to wash my hands in hot water (to warm them up again) and mum kept telling me off because I would “get chillblains”… Whatever that is. Weird, I can remember things like that, but not things that happened last week.

      I considered factoring in ‘worrying needlessly about stipid things that really don’t matter at all’ but didn’t because I think that only applies to you and me. Everyone else just seems to get on with stuff – worry free. Also, my worrying about stupid things that really don’t matter at all has continued to this very day.

      We found a dog with opposable thumbs and used positive reinforcement to train him to use the camera. He’s very good.

  4. Ariel June 1, 2013 at 4:27 am Reply

    Good for you!! It should never be too late to go sledging. (That is, unless your bones become too brittle or something…) And really, it’s so fun, why should there be shame in it if you do it when you’re an adult?

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