Lewd Bob and his brother Fanta and I grew up a few minutes walk from a stunning and relatively untouched piece of bushland that spans many hectares right in the middle of the suburbs of Melbourne. The bushland is still one of those 'local secret' places, rarely mentioned anywhere, but much loved by those who live within cooee of it. My family in particular has a long history with the bushlands as there's a national trust cottage at one end of the bush that my great-grandfather helped build in the late 1800's. My grandfather insisted that the tracks through the bush were made by him as a kid when he delieverd eggs to the tenant of the cottage.
Lewd Bob, Fanta and I grew up in that bushland. We seemed to be there every possible day. It was back in the days before 'stranger danger'. We'd have breakfast, and head to the dense bushlands and spend all day there, coming home maybe for lunch, but definitely tea. We started going there alone when we were about 8 years old. It was more than a mile from our homes. As we got older, it also became the place for underage drinking at night, one's early pash experiments with equally awkward girls, and then as we got even older, it became our strawberry fields. Only happy memories.
I hadn't been there for years, but last week I found myself with time to kill in Melbourne and thought I'd go for a walk through the bushland. There's now a freeway going under it and I'd heard that it sounded different these days... some of the birds that were the soundtrack of my childhood had just flown away, forever. I knew it would make me sad.
It certainly did sound and feel different, and it saddened me. But what angered me was the fucking nanny state faggot cunty interference of I don't know who but they can get rooted who put fences up. Fences? All the paths of our youth were closed... so you can't cross the creek. Fuck, we used to walk in the creek, and race icy-pole sticks down it. We walked alongside it for miles and regularly fell in and that was all part of the growing-up process. Now for our 'safety' they are all closed. We're breeding a nation of soft cocks.
For instance... look at this cliff in the distance.
We were early teenagers and Fanta said, "I bet I can climb that cliff." Lewd Bob and I offered $1 each if he could, which was a lot of money back then. It was like a whole week's pocket money. But we were confident we wouldn't have to pay out because it's impossible to climb with bare hands.
So anyway, up went Fanta. He got about 4/5ths of the way and then got stuck. He was stuck there for a while. He couldn't go up, or down. Lewd Bob and I started to worry, so we offered him $1 each if he could get down safely, as well as make it to the top safely. Fortunately we got to keep our money because Fanta promptly fell off the cliff, smashing many bones and falling unconscious at the base of the cliff, seemingly dead.
I whipped into action. I ran. I ran through the creek at the deep spot and ran to the road and waved down a truck with three people in it and explained that my friend died and they must come immedately. They came running with me and luckily, Fanta was not dead at all, just smashed up. They drove him home and from there he was taken to the hospital.
I have two things to say about this. One - I was a 13 year old boy waving down a truck and I wasn't abducted and raped.
Two - If I was thirteen today and had to run to the road from that cliff I wouldn't have to run through the creek, because they have built this fucking ugly thing at the point I ran across:
There's concrete paths there! They've actually paved my grandfather's tracks! And made dainty wooden bridges with fucking signs! Sigh. It's soft, and killing our imaginations, all this OH&S obsession and public liability and gentrifying ancient and primitive wonders and it shits me. Just cos some retard once broken an ankle falling into a creek do we all have to suffer? Look, I like my creature comforts as much as the next lapsed Goth, but hell, bush is bush. Let the kids have what we had in that suburb... bushland, not a park for soft-cocks.
Here's a view of the 'beach' (where they've built a shaded 'seat' for retards... we used to sit on logs!).
We buried a time capsule there when we were 10-ish. We filled a large glass jar with posessions and notes and planned to go back to the spot in twenty years' time. Thing is, we buried it in sand. We went back the next day and it was already gone.
Here's one of the 'slides' (it's steeper than it looks). It's just a hill with heaps of leaves, pine needles and hidden rocks. We scrambled up the top then slid back down, smashing into tree roots and branches and rocks and were attacked by strange dogs and we went home covered in cuts, bites and dirt. It's fenced off now.
I know I know.. I could just go walking in the real bush, but hell, this was a rare gem in the suburbs. We spent thousands of hours of our childhood in that place and there wasn't a fence or paved path to be found. It was big enugh to always find some place new. You could walk everywhere, fall everywhere and if you didn't go home injured in some way it meant you didn;t try hard enough. It really was a beautiful place hidden in the suburbs where kids like us could experience a bit of bush, and now, it's just a park with a lot of trees.
Mind you... I like everything else about the modern world.