Bite-Size Memoir: Cycling and Sherlock Holmes

When Lisa set her cycling prompt for this week’s Bite Size Memoir challenge, the first thoughts that came to mind were not so much the riding on but the falling off a bicycle.

My first bike was for my seventh birthday present.  I loved it.  We had a narrow pathway between the side of our house and the neighbour’s fencing. I remember practicing riding for hours by keeping one hand on the wall of our house and the other on the fence to help me balance.  Oh the joy when at last I was able to ride whilst holding the handlebars instead!

When we moved to Suffolk, I usually had to get the bus to school but on good days in the summer,  it was a treat to ride my bike. During the summer holidays, me and  my brother hopped on our bikes with our hastily packed lunches (usually consisting of jam sandwiches and a packet of crisps) stuffed into our saddle bags and took off to the nearby town for a game of tennis.

These games usually ended in blazing rows over who had to pick up the balls when we missed our shots (which was constantly).  Somehow the bike rides home seemed much quicker than the ones heading out…

We often used to ride out to a nearby village with its isolated, leafy road and steep hill which we loved to race down, hands-free no less. With nothing but the rush of summer air whipping past our heads and the smooth whirr of oiled chains at our feet, we urged each other on to ride faster and faster.   So what if we ended up crashing into a bed of nettles with a few stones embedded in our kneecaps from time to time?  All part of the fun.

Me on a family friend's bicycle at the back of our house in Surrey. 1960's (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Me on a family friend’s bicycle at the back of our house in Surrey. 1960’s
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

On one particular occasion, our antics backfired.  My brother, racing ahead as he always did (even though younger than me but always much more daring) and yelling for me to come after him, suddenly disappeared over his handlebars. A stick or something had jammed into the spokes of his front wheel and now he was face-down on the road.

I cycled as fast as I could to get to him and was horrified by the sight of what looked like to me one of his entire kneecaps sheered off. What to do?  I must have learnt something in the Girl Guides (earning my First Aid Badge for one, but a fat lot of good it was going to do for my brother out there in the middle of nowhere).

So I got him up and somehow managed to walk him and both bikes to the first house we came across.  A nice, elderly lady took us in and called my mother on the telephone while she bathed my brother’s knee in something antiseptic. Funny what sticks in our minds: I remember her saying something like: “I would put iodine on it but that would send you to the roof!”

Later on, when the panic of the moment had died down,  I asked my mother what iodine was.  When she told me, I don’t know who was more glad that the elderly lady hadn’t used it – me or my brother!

He ended up going to hospital and had to keep a plastic bag over his dressed wound for the rest of the summer to keep it dry.  Since we spent a few weeks that summer in Brighton with my dad, trying to keep my baby brother out of the sea and his wound dry proved to be darn near impossible.  But that’s another story.

So with all these cycling memories coming to the fore, and by no small coincidence harking back to my Girl Guide days, here is my 150 word bite (no more, no less!):

 Cycling and Sherlock Holmes

For a year or two I was a Girl Guide. By the time I turned 13 I lost interest, preferring to mope about at home instead.

I loved riding my bike and got the idea that it would be fun to cycle to an evening meeting. Fixed up with a headlamp and dynamo, off I pedalled.

Still light, the rural road was deserted but it was dark for my return, and no street lights. This might not have been a problem had I not just finished reading ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. The surrounding fields were dark and menacing and I was all alone. As I pedalled furiously, those headless hounds of hell, tongues of fire blazing from their necks, chased me all the way home.

Bursting in through the front door, I could hardly breathe. I never did cycle to Guides after that. In fact, I quit soon after.

 

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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104 Responses to Bite-Size Memoir: Cycling and Sherlock Holmes

  1. Lisa Reiter says:

    Ouch! Your brothers knee must have taken a beating or scraping or grating or whatever ! I’m guessing there was no skin left ?!

    I’m amazed to only come across a dynamo in your post. I remember the horribly weak light, especially if you weren’t peddling very hard so I can fully imagine the building nightmare of the shadows around you! I sometimes still get that in the dark – a bit like being in the sea if you make the mistake of remembering “Jaws”!

    I didn’t last long at Guides either – something to do with the discipline and then rather gender stereotypical activities had me rebelling sufficiently for it to be suggested to my Mum that it wasn’t quite for me! No wonder I was an Imp in Brownies!

    Thanks Sherri for wonderful images and memories! Lisa x

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    • Sherri says:

      Sorry for the late reply here…I disappeared after posting yesterday, and only just now getting a chance to get back here. Another one of those weeks!
      Yes, my brother’s knee was totally skinned, it looked awful, I was so sad for him…
      Ahh yes, the dynamo! I remember thinking if I pedalled fast enough that weak ight would shine brighter and keep those demons at bay, haha! Very much I can relate to those kind of ‘Jaws’ moments… I can hear it now…duh da…duh da…duh da duh da….I’ll be doing that all day now 😉
      Me too, I was the same, too much of a rebel! I’m not a group person either, after a while. Just got bored with it I think. Haha, love it, an Imp in Brownies. I was in Brownies too for a short time but can’t remember what I was. I loved the uniform though for some strange reason. I seem to remember a little leather pouch for some reason? I felt proud wearing that. Strange isn’t it?
      Glad you enjoyed it, thanks again Lisa for another fun prompt, I had great fun going back to those days…even though it was very scary at times 😉 xx

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  2. Reading your electric and inviting writing is totally like riding hands-free! I ADORE your SPIRIT!!

    Lovely, lovely piece, dear Sherri 😉

    Peace and freedom ~ Allison xxxx

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Allison! I will be coming over to you shortly, so sorry for the absence this week…been a bit crazy one way or another!
      But…oh I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this little bit of memoir. And wow, I am really smiling at your delightful way of expression, thank you so much!!
      Peace and freedom…ahh yes, that will do nicely. and I would wish just the same to you my dear. See you very shortly 🙂 xxxx

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  3. bulldog says:

    This was a lovely share Sherri… I remember my younger days with that very special old Raleigh bike.. went over the handle bars a few times myself… also the scrapes and bruises that seemed to have been treated with an old axle grease… looked like it and smelt like it, but worked a treat as a repairer of broken skin… those pesky grass burns from Rugby also got the same treatment… I’ve often wondered what that stuff was,….

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Bulldog and guess what? My bike was a Raleigh too!! It was red…!! Ahh…those battle scars from our youth. A rite of passage I reckon 😉 Hmm…you have me thinking now. My mum used TCP or that tin of pink anointment called Germolene but that definitely didn’t smell like, or look like, axle grease…! You will have to find out if you can, I would love to know what it was… 😉 Although, come to think, it wasn’t Swarfeger was it?

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      • bulldog says:

        No that name doesn’t ring a bell…. it was a magical stuff at school this Nurses treated everything from a scrape, grass burn and even things like water on the knee with this stuff, we called it Axle Grease… it was applied and a plastic covering then either bandaged or taped closed… it worked wonders… a grass burn or swollen ankle in rugby this week was gone by the next and you played in that following game a week later… it is these old remedies that have disappeared…
        I suffered badly from boils as a youngster, and naturally pimples as well, we sat on the beach one day and this old lady told my Mom to get tinoxide tablets for me… small little grey tablets which I took one a day.. within two months my pimples were gone and I’ve never had a boil since… trouble is you can’t find those tablets anywhere today…. they said the people that worked in the tin mines had the cleanest blood… why can’t you get those tablets today for all those that suffer blood disorders.??? Because they were cheap and nobody would make any money out of it, so big business stops production… sick world we live in…

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      • Sherri says:

        Hmmm…well I have no idea, but it worked, that’s the main thing! And as for those pills, you answered the question Bulldog…and don’t get me started on pharmaceutical companies. They have so much to answer for…

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  4. OMG. What an exciting kid you were. Maybe it’s good to have a brother as it seems more adventures happen when you follow one.
    Ouch. That knee makes me wince. Still, you both survived and were the better for it all I’m sure.
    What a fetching smile you had, the same as you still have now. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha! We did have some adventures Tess. In them days of old and all that, us kids actually played outside all day long, rain or shine, and our mother’s never worried. We were okay…well, to a point!! My brother definitely did get me into some scrapes but he would say just the same about me, as brothers do…in fact, I think he thinks everything is my fault, lol 😉
      Ahh….well that is very sweet of you. I wonder what I’m up to, but I’m obviously happy because I have candy in my hand…what could be more important to a kid 😉 😀 😛

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  5. Another sterling read my friend!! Just loved it and the story that preceded it. ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh so very glad you enjoyed this my friend – you know of my stories and how many you and I have shared…yi yi yi 😉 Good times….even when it is scary 😉 ❤ xoxo

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  6. jennypellett says:

    Think you should’ve titled this “Bike-size Memoir!” I loved these memories of your first bike – so similar to mine. We had a steep and twisty hill that we were absolutely forbidden to ride down. Did we? Yes, of course we did. Better than a theme park ride – much more thrilling!

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha! That’s great Jenny, I should have thought of that! Glad to have given you some good memories of your biking days. Bulldog just reminded me from his comment that my first bike was a Raleigh. It was red and I loved it but I was jealous when older and one of the village kids got a Chopper…a bright yellow one! I never did get one of those!!!
      Oh I’m really smiling..of course you rode down it! We were forbidden to play on the haystacks…so of course we did as were told…not!! As you say, our adventures beat any theme park ride any day!
      Looking forward to your visit over at Jill’s today Jenny… 🙂

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  7. Pingback: Bite Size Peloton | Lisa Reiter - Sharing the Story

  8. I love your stories, Sherri! 🙂 I had a bad bike accident when I was about 9. I rode a friend’s bike down his big hill driveway, but he forgot to tell me he had raised the seat! I went head over heels tumbling down, but just got away with lots of scrapes and bruises. I bet that was scary for you with your brother! (I still haven’t tried to write a 50 word story. I’m not sure I can!) 😉

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Patsy, thanks so much, really glad you enjoyed it! Ouch, that sounds painful! I had my share of scrapes and bruises too, think it’s a necessity as a kid, haha 🙂 Yes, it was a particularly nasty accident for my brother that one..good job he’s a toughy!!
      Ahh…but Patsy, I see you’ve been busy with lots of other exciting projects instead! Sorry for my absence this week, things went a little crazy but I’ll see you shortly… 🙂

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  9. Sherri, your growing-up stories are a delight. You described the testy age of 13 perfectly when you said you lost interest in Girl Guides, “preferring to mope about at home instead.”
    I love the picture of you on your bike, and the adventures you had that, truly, would make a great children’s story!

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh thank you so much Marylin, it does my heart good to know that you enjoy these bites so much. 13 was a horrible age! I share a lot about my family life with the kids as you know and love writing about them and our life together but I’ve realised that in writing these, I get to share some of my own stories, in snippets, and in a way that isn’t too all about moi, if you know what I mean. Stories that we can all share as our own memories are triggered. I do love it, really enjoy it and so knowing that you and others here enjoy reading them too gives me a thrill! Not to mention…great writing practice 🙂

      I’m intrigued about your comment about a children’s story. I’ve always had a quiet desire to write for children but that was when my own children were young. You know, and I’ll say this now to you, my daughter, as you know, is an amazing artist and I had this idea when she was a little girl to write a story (had the title and everything) and she would illustrate it. But you know what Marylin, I never did push forward with it. I convinced myself that nobody would like or read it…which is why, when three years ago I made the leap into writing as a now or never kind of a thing. And I couldn’t be happier that I did…but as always, I am always fascinated by your insight and the way you get me thinking…..as I am now…. 😉

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  10. Summer mystery reading as a youngster always did have consequences, didn’t it? The same goes for reading Nancy Drew mysteries and then having to go up into the attic after dark. Super cute photo of you on the bicycle! Thanks for showing us your gorgeous “mini-you.” 😉

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh yes! All those mysteries and ghost stories, scaring ourselves silly! Delicious stuff…but not when riding alone in the dark…and definitely not when going up into the attic after dark. I still get scared going into mine now, haha 😉
      Ahh…that’s so sweet, thank you so much 🙂

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  11. Denise says:

    What a great mixture of adventure, adolescence and the good old fashioned magic of a book that imprints itself in your mind.

    Lovely memories and that pic is breathtaking – Surrey nowadays is more akin to built up areas.

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      • Denise says:

        I have experience only of growing up in the Croydon end of Surrey 🙂 I do forget that there is another end of it. Your end of Surrey has certainly been very beautiful whenever I’ve seen it.

        I was thinking specifically of a family friend of ours who grew up and lived all his life in Chessington. There used to be fields all the way out as far as he could see behind his house when he was a boy.

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    • Sherri says:

      I had a very active imagination Denise and it didn’t help that I loved reading ghost stories and mystery thrillers!!! I swear I can still feel the heat of those flames scorching the back of my neck…!!! Thank you, I’m really glad you enjoyed the read and as for the pic, the fields behind me were on the other side of the lane that ran behind our house. We used to love playing there, for hours I seem to remember. We lived in a little hamlet on the outskirts of Horley so I would imagine it still has countryside around it, but I wonder if there are houses in those fields now. I never went back after my parents split up so I will never know…
      PS I remember going to Chessington Zoo as a kid, but isn’t it a theme park now? Used to watch the chimps having their tea parties… 😉

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  12. Aw, your poor brother. That must have hurt a lot.

    I never really have been one for cycling. I nearly fell in a river after falling off my bike once when I was like 8 or something, and that put me off for life, for some reason. Though, my parents refused to buy me a bike that was actually my size… so I had to use ones that were too big for me, so my foot couldn’t reach the floor, and that also terrified me. I had a seriously thing about falling off bikes. Last time I ever ‘rode’ a bike was when I was like 14, and I rode my friend’s bike down a set of stairs in the middle of this field. Hahaha. It hurt. But I didn’t fall off 😉

    (lovely photo 🙂 )

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, it was bad for him…but he is a toughy and didn’t let it stop him getting me into more trouble, haha!!! (He of course would totally blame me for everything…!) Well, I can see why cycling wasn’t your thing, having a bike too big for you. I have to be able to touch the floor with my foot otherwise I can’t ride it. Wow! Down a set of stairs? Well, good, I’m glad you didn’t all off but it must have really hurt!
      I didn’t ride a bike for years and then a couple of years ago, when in France, we borrowed a couple and it was great to get back in the saddle again – so to speak, haha! – but I was shocked at how differently we use our leg muscles when cycling as compared to walking, which I do a lot. It gave me a renewed respect for the fitness we have as kids…and made me wish I could be like that again… 🙂
      …and thanks Jenny Jen Jen for the pic 🙂

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      • Haha, well of course! 😉 It is obviously always the sibling’s fault.
        It wasn’t a very big set of steps, but still, yes it hurt but it was funny all the same. Teenagers, eh. Crazy days.
        Ha, yeah! When we use different muscles for different tasks, it can indeed be a bit of a shocker the next day! Kids are basically invincible little troopers, really. To be that way again! Wouldn’t it be nice.

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      • Sherri says:

        It would be nice…in some ways… 😉
        Have a great weekend Jenny Jen Jen… 😎 ❤

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  13. Loved this read! It sped up and slowed down at just the right places, Sherri! Ouch is all I can say to your brother’s knee! Having skinned knees was a right of passage though – wasn’t it? What an adorable pic of you! 🙂 ~Karen~

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Karen, thanks so much for dropping by and for leaving your kind comment, really appreciate it! Those skinned knees were definitely a rite of passage…part of being a kid 😀 Lovely to meet you 🙂

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  14. suej says:

    Oh, what memories this brings back for me! Had a lot of fun and adventures with my bikes when younger 🙂

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  15. Luanne says:

    Sherri, that is one scary book, so no wonder it turned you off that path! What a great read. Your poor brother! What a wonderful sister you were. Your beautiful writing really put me in the scene. Now I feel as if I have been through a physical experience!

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    • Sherri says:

      Yikes…I know, and I used to scare myself silly with all kinds of ghost stories and mystery thrillers at that age, haha! Thanks so much Luanne, wow, I take that as such a great compliment about my writing, you’ve made my day! Hope you’re recovered from the experience though, lol 😉

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  16. Tom Merriman says:

    Ouch. Sherri, I’d have never got on a bike again if that had happened to my kneecap. Ooooh…

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    • Sherri says:

      It was not good, that’s for sure! I seem to remember graduating from bikes to roller skates later on, the kind that strapped onto your shoes. Spent hours skating along Brighton promenade and the pier…got a few bruised knees from that too, as you do.. 😉 Thanks for the read Tom 🙂

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  17. I’m impressed, Sherri! That is a big bike for such a little girl. 🙂 My first bike was much lower to the ground. That picture is priceless! I love the vivid memories of your early days on the bike.
    I have one vivid bike memory and it involves my cousin running me over with her bike…by accident of course. 🙂
    Don’t forget to visit tomorrow, our pal Jenny is going to be in the spotlight. You’ll love it! xoxo

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Yes, I did have a lot of trouble riding it Jill, as you can see 😉 I loved my first bike and was so proud when I could ride it properly – and my feet could touch the ground, lol!
      That’s crazy, you getting run over by your cousin…wow, I can’t even bear to ask how that happened! We had some crazy adventures, me and my brother, but I can honestly say getting run over by a bike wasn’t one of them! Must have really hurt that…glad you are here to tell the tale… 🙂
      Thanks Jill, and I will definitely be over today, can’t wait to read Jenny’s post… 😉 xoxoxo

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  18. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, that would have terrified me, too! I think I was about the same age when i read that particular Sherlock Holmes! This prompt brought back a treasure trove a memories for you. An enjoyable read!

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    • Sherri says:

      A very scary story that isn’t it? Scarier than the film…and out there all alone in the dark. Yikes, I can feel those flames scorching the back of my neck even now!!! A lot of memories came flooding back most definitely, and I’m so glad you enjoyed reading them…thanks so much Charli 🙂

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  19. I enjoyed that Sherri! I got my first “big girl” bike at the age of seven as well. I seem to remember having quite the time learning how to ride. The memory of you and your brother and the kindly lady taking you both in is priceless. Those hounds of hell chasing you though…that’s another story! 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, the good, the bad and the ugly here!!! I was scared out of my mind, never so glad to be back home in all my life!!!
      It seemed to take me ages too learning to ride but oh what freedom when we did! It was the same with my own kids, I would get rather frustrated and impatient at times, I’m not the best teacher that’s for sure!!!
      So glad you enjoyed the read and sharing the memories, thanks so much Lilka 🙂

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  20. tieshka says:

    I love your bike photo! I don’t remember falling off my bike- but I know Malina fell off her bike into the bushes when she was learning how to perfect the art. We have not been back to that park since with the bikes. Have a great weekend!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks so much Tieshka! Oh I remember the days trying to teach my kids to ride their bikes, as I just replied to Lilka, I was definitely not the best teacher and would get frustrated and often it ended in tears after they fell off, or, as with your poor baby, into a bush 😦 Hope you find another park where Malina can ride and get to enjoy it!! You have a great weekend too 😀 😎

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  21. Sherri a great story of your biking days. I don’t think I would have been so nonchalant about the stinging nettles and the knee sounds really painful. Still you met an old lady who sounded wonderful. Our similarities continue across the seas as I too was a girl guide. I stayed the distance though eventually becoming a queens guide. I don’t have the memories that Lisa had of the movement as to me it was so much more exciting and not gender based at all. (apart from the fact that there were no male members though we used to go camping with the scouts and rovers which of course we just loved.) I’ve been places we’re I have imagined the hounds of the baskervilles and I can understand your pedalling fury to escape them. Have a great weekend Cheers Irene

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    • Sherri says:

      Wow…that’s an amazing achievement Irene, congratulations to you!!!! I had dreams of becoming a Queen’s Guide when I joined but as with so many of my dreams, I didn’t have the sticking power and I became bored. I was thrilled beyond measure when my eldest son stuck Boy Scouts out to achieve the very highest honour of Eagle Scout (the American equivalent of Queen Scout I would imagine).
      Interesting reading your memories of the Guides as very different to Lisa’s. You had a wonderful time by all accounts, as it should be (and love your recollections of mingling with the Scouts!). A bit of family lore here…the story goes, as told by both my mum and dad, is that Dad got kicked out of the Scouts for getting caught kissing one of the Guides! That sounds about right….
      I became a Patrol Leader (Kingfisher, still have the patch, and I love Kingfishers!) but our troop was so small and half the girls didn’t show up for the meetings and I was easily bored and very mopey at that time (13 was a hellish time for me). I was too rebellious but not in the classic way…does that make sense?
      My mum had a very positive time as a Girl Guide and in fact my Great-Grandmother was a Camp Fire Girl leader once, apparently. So it’s in the genes…but just not my bag I suppose!
      Thanks for your great comment Irene, love how all these similarities and coincidences keep popping up and that we get to share them! You have a great weekend too my friend 🙂 ❤

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  22. Rachel M says:

    You know how I feel about bikes, Sherri: I love them! That bike you’re sitting on looks very nice 🙂

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  23. mumblypeg says:

    Good memories, very well told as ever. You were are little cutie back then and still are now!! Blessings and love xxx M

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  24. Mabel Kwong says:

    Aww, Sherri. You did learn how to ride a bike after learning for so long. I remember my parents getting me a pink and white bicycle as a Christmas present when I was about five…and I kept falling off and never learnt to ride it. That was a very scary incident your brother had, but it sounds like that didn’t put him or you off cycling. So brave the two of you were.

    Every time I wobbled on my bike, my mum would come rushing over to hold the handlebars and wheel me around. Maybe she was too protective 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      I did, I did, yay! I came to realise though that bike riding isn’t for everyone with my own kids. The all learnt to ride but once we moved back to the UK from the States, they never rode again. The busyness of the streets put them right off. I was sad because they really enjoyed their bikes as kids where we lived in the States…
      I remember doing that same thing as your mum with the wobbling and trying so hard not to…it’s hard as a mum not to be too over-protective 😉 Did you ride a bike when you were older?
      As for me and my brother, I don’t whether we were brave or stupid, LOL, but we did have some crazy adventures, that’s for sure!
      Thanks for sharing your ‘bike’ thoughts Mabel, always so lovely when you stop by for a chat 🙂

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      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Yes, parents can be so protective, especially my Asian parents 😉 I did try riding a bike when I was sixteen in Singapore…my mum was still very quick to grab the handle bars every time my bike leaned to the side. I did have a few seconds flying off on my own, which was fun.

        There’s a strong biking culture in Melbourne – especially in the city where you’ll see people cycle to and fro work – but sadly, it isn’t in me to bike. But I am adventurous at heart, so maybe one day when I’m free… 🙂

        Lol, Sherri. You and your brother were very, very brave. Don’t think otherwise. We’re only stupid when we don’t give things a shot 🙂 Your kids sound like me. Maybe one day they will pick up biking again. You never know. Hope you have a good weekend, Sherri!

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        • Sherri says:

          Ahh…well, I’m so glad that you got to ride a bike eventually!! Biking isn’t for everyone. Sometimes I do think it’s quite dangerous on busy roads, for the biker, with so many crazy drivers out and about.
          That’s so sweet of you Mabel…and I’m glad you look upon us a brave 😉
          Thank you so much, and you have a wonderful weekend too my friend -) ❤

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  25. Amy says:

    Mable was right, you and your brother were brave… Thank you for sharing your growing up stories, Sherri 🙂 It reminded me of my childhood 🙂

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  26. Oh, the memories you brought flooding back as I read through this post. Very quickly, this: when I was a young teenage in high school, my best friend lived about a mile or mile and a half down our rural concession road (in the pre-metric days). I would ride to see her on my ten-speed bicycle, humming along the paved road, using no hands. I’m happy to report that no mishaps ensued. Carefree youth, indeed. 😊

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Marlene! So glad to bring back some good memories for you, what fun! I loved my ten-speed too and wasn’t it great to go hands-free…woo hoo! Glad no mishaps for you…ahh, to be so carefree again…! Thanks for the fun share, have a great weekend 😀

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  27. You are adorable on the bike picture! I can easily imagine you and your brother since your story brought back a similar childhood adventure/accident. My sister who is only a year younger than me loved racing her bike against older boys. Once, when she was seven she used her bike’s front brake which sent her flying above her bike. She landed on a rock and when I saw her face covered in blood I thought it was coming from her eyes. We were biking with other kids, but all of them flew home, leaving us alone, half a mile behind our house. I took my sister’s hand to bring her home but she begged me to take her bike too. So we went home pushing our bikes, blood dripping from my sister’s face. My mother rushed to our doctor who lived a few miles away. My sister got stiches on her forehead. It wasn’t her eye after all. Biking is still something that I love to do. And my sister too!
    Thank you, Sherri, for another nice ride on memory lane.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Evelyne, we definitely do share many similarities! I always remember that forehead cuts bleed profusely and often look far worse than they are, thank goodness, and especially for your sister! I can well imagine you thinking the blood was from her eyes, that must have been quite the scare. It was the same for me with my brother’s knee, I was convinced that his entire kneecap had been sheered off but of course it was a very deep wound and thankfully healed up nicely (leaving a big scar though!).
      I’m so glad that both you and your sister still enjoy biking! Thank you for sharing your story and glad you like the pic too. Have a great weekend 😀

      Like

  28. restlessjo says:

    I definitely feel like I missed out on life, Sherri, because I never learned to ride a bike. If I’d had one of those passages with a wall and a fence, I might have done better, but probably not. I’m safer on my feet. (just!) 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I’ve come to realise through this post that not everyone got on with bike riding as a kid. I remember being so proud when I finally learnt to ride without wobbling all over the place and falling off, which I did often! Still, as you say Jo, you’ve got your great walks so no need for a bike…so long as you don’t fall down any more holes 😉

      Like

  29. I LOVED my bikes! They were freedom to me! I feel like I lived half of my childhood summers on my bike (and 1/4 in trees, and 1/4 in water, swimming). I only ever had one nasty fall–and that was before I learned to ride a bike. I was 4, at my grandmother’s house, and hopped on my older cousin’s bike (I was always convinced I could do anything I put my mind to doing). And I rode it. Things were going pretty well until I took it down the gravel hill. Skinned my knees (and a million other parts), but not badly like your brother did! I’m glad my grandmother didn’t over-react. She actually laughed a little, matter-of-factly cleaned me up, picked the gravel out of the wounds with a tweezers, gave me a pat on the head and told me that I’d get the hang of bike-riding pretty soon when I got a little bigger; but that I should always be careful on gravel hills, no matter how big I got. Then she sent me back outside to play.

    Your Hound of the Baskervilles episode is priceless.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…so you liked climbing trees too? What fun that was! And swimming too…great childhood summers, just wonderful…
      What a story Tracy…you were only 4 and yet look at you! You decided that you could do it and so you did! That same determination, bravery and willpower you have today started very young and why am I not surprised to know this??!! Your grandmother handled your accident so well. Instead of instilling fear, she gave you great advice for then and the future, bolstering your adventurous spirit with just the right touch. How wonderful is that? Great story Tracy, thanks so much for sharing, glad you enjoyed my spooky tale 🙂
      I’ll catch up with you shortly (saw your intriguing post title and can’t wait to read it, grabbing intermittent blogging moments for now… 😉 ) and hope you have a weekend filled with rest and relaxtion ❤

      Like

      • Both of my grandmother’s were amazing people, who deeply influenced me. I miss them!

        I’m going off-line shortly (well, that’s my intention, anyway, if I don’t get too distracted….), to enjoy the weekend. Thanks for the cheery good wishes, and I hope you have a fabulous weekend, too. ❤

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          A very great blessing indeed for you, to have two wonderful grandmothers. I am sure you miss them very much. I had that with my Granny, as you know, but my other grandmother (she was Irish, my dad’s mother) died young, in her 50’s when I was 6. I do remember her as a sweet, kind and very softly spoken lady who was always very loving towards me….

          I’m off now too, for real this time, supposed to be making dinner for some guests, yikes!!! Thanks Tracy, see you soon.. 🙂 ❤

          Like

  30. Seyi sandra says:

    What a great story Sherri. I have to confess I don’t know how to ride a bike or swim! 🙂 What a shame… My kids used to laugh at me and I swore I would learn to swim, but the bike riding? I would restrict that to the gym! I’m just curious, did your brother still cycle after the accident? I hope he did!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend my dear friend!
    Blessings! 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you dear Seyi, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ve come to realise through other people commenting on this post that not everyone rode a bike as a kid! As for swimming, I learnt at the grand old age of 9 and loved it for a time until I started getting nosebleeds every time I dived in! I do still like to go in the water but not too often and I didn’t ride a bike for many years until a couple of years ago, but still enjoyed it! My brother did indeed continue to ride – he was a tough kid, still is, haha!! Don’t give up on the swimming – my dear granny learnt in her 70’s!
      Hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend my friend and now for a good week ahead…much love and blessings to you too 🙂 😀 ❤

      Like

  31. Great story Sherri, I have a vision of you frantically pedalling in the dark with those hounds trailing you! I loved my second hand purple Chopper but I do remember once riding down a hill and suddenly being on my side, scraping my face and body along the road! And I wasn’t even riding hands free 🙂 (Nothing serious – just a few scrapes)

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…thank you Andrea, I’m glad you enjoyed this story and yes, I was frantic alright!! Oh you lucky, I always wanted a Chopper but I did love my Raleigh 🙂 Ouch for you though, but glad you were okay and nothing serious. Seems to be part of scene with riding a bike. In fact, I’m surprised it hasn’t been banned along with everything else…but that’s another kettle of fish… 😉

      Like

  32. Pat says:

    This brought back some of those same bicycling memories for me, Sherri. Like you, I can remember the absolute glee of having no cares in the world “but the rush of summer air whipping past our heads and the smooth whirr of oiled chains at our feet”.

    Man, those were the days, racing and charging to try and get passed each other and taking off to explore — no helmets or knee pads, then. Your brother probably could have put in a good word for them. Great story — loved it. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Pat, what times they were indeed! I’m so glad that you resonated with the sense of freedom in that instant moment that I wanted to convey 🙂 You are right, no protection gear whatsoever. It’s amazing we survived anything isn’t it, but as I just replied to Andrea, these days, I’m surprised they haven’t banned biking altogether along with so many things…
      Thanks so much for sharing your biking memories my friend…makes me want to go back and do it all over again…almost, haha 😉
      PS I tried to come over to your blog but it looks like it’s under construction? Is that right?

      Like

      • Pat says:

        So true, Sherri, those were the days and, you’re right, it’s a wonder we survived. Guess we’re tougher than we think.

        I can remember once watching my youngest daughter go down a hill on a dirt road up here in the mountains, before it was chip-n-sealed and still before helmets.

        She hit a rock and went flying over the handle bars like your brother. Only, thankfully, she didn’t sustain any major injuries like he did. She was pretty scraped up, though. It really put a scare in us.

        Yes, on my site, Sherri. it was down. I moved it to my own host account. I was sharing with hubby as a sub-domain under his account and split it out on my own. It’s back up now. Maybe, you can check it out and see if it all looks okay for me. Thank you — you’re the best! 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Ooooh, nasty. I can just imagine your concern for your daughter, glad she was okay! Yes Pat, I’ve since been over to your blog and all looks fine, so glad you are up and running again and all is well. Have a great Wednesday and catch up again soon my friend 😀

        Like

  33. I love this little bit of nostalgia! The adventures we have as children, and our wonderful bicycles! I love the photo of you with your trusty bicycle also! Have a lovely day Sherri!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Tiffanie! Lovely to see you and I’m so glad that you enjoyed this trip down memory lane! Our bicycles certainly played a huge part in our childhoods, I’m glad you got to experience that too! Thanks so much, and you have a lovely day too… 🙂

      Like

  34. Ste J says:

    How topical with the excellent Tour de France reaching the mountain stages! I loved Hound f tye Baskervilles although since then I have fallen out of love with it due to the fact not a lot happens. I prefer the short stories these days but I’m picky. Your stories are always right interesting.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, actually you are spot on Ste as Lisa chose this very prompt for that reason. She got to see it in the flesh, so to speak, living ooop north and all (I can get away with that because I have relatives up there, well, Cheshire and Leeds, and my mum was born in York, so that’s ok isn’t it?). Hmmm…interesting comment about the Hound of the Baskervilles, I haven’t read it since way back then in those ancient times when I was 12…You do a lot of reading though! I’m a slow reader myself. I’m thrilled though that you like my stories…right interesting! Yay 🙂

      Like

  35. I adore that picture of you. How cute!! And yes, I loved ghost stories. But keep in mind, I’m from the southern US and we have a culture of ghosts and scary antics often referred to as ‘American Gothic.’ We were convinced our great-grandparent’s house was haunted and our cousins used to use Great-grandpa’s wooden leg to thump against the floor and scare us girls to death. Why he wasn’t buried with that thing I can’t imagine. LOL.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks Renee! I do remember that day and being happy because I had some candy, as you can see!! A real treat for me in those days 🙂 Oh yes, I absolutely love American Gothic, my daughter too. She gets me into all kinds of ghost stories and movies she researches, scares the pants off me but I love it, haha! Oh that sounds so scary, I bet you jumped out of your skins at that sound!! Fancy leaving his wooden leg behind! Very spooky, haha 😉

      Like

  36. Steven says:

    That sounds awful for your brother, at least you happened across a woman merciful enough to forego the iodine, though!

    I had a scooter which was fun. I never learned to ride a bike until I was about 11 or 12, so I was relatively safe from stuff like that. I can still barely ride, in truth…

    Rest assured though, I still found my way into beds of nettles quite often! That was all part of the exploration. Ooh, I can still feel it now. There was something mumsey used to rub on the stings but I forget what it is.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, it was horrible for him JG but he was/is a toughie and he seemed more worried about not being able to go into the sea that summer (once the initial shock and pain wore off of course). I remember that I had to be like his mother, nagging him incessantly about not going into the water (he is only 18 months younger than me and I’m sure he only remembers the nagging and not the good things I did, haha!!). It’s been quite a revelation hearing from a few people that they either never rode a bike at all or barely learnt. I was not the most patient with my own kids, I admit, thinking that all kids had to learn. Of course, there was the coordination issue yet Aspie D was okay on a bike. Driving lessons later on? Well, that is a whole other story and not a pretty one. Needless to say, I don’t think she will ever be driving a car…!
      I had a scooter too, before my bike, and loved it!
      Yes, I think the bed of stinging nettles do feature as a rite of passage for us kids, no matter what we get up to. Me and my brother used to slide down the rusty, corrugated barn roof and land in straw but once we forgot about the straw and ended up in nettles instead. Ouch!! I wonder what your mumsey used? We used to rub dock leaves into the stings when out in the woods but not sure what else. I was definitely tougher back in the day I think 😉

      Like

      • Steven says:

        Oh, you sound like me with my brother. He was essentially my son (although there’s a slightly bigger gap between us – 12 years, no less) I remember when I was about 19 someone commenting rather snidely that they didn’t know I had a child already. It was my brother…!

        Dock leaves! That was it! I knew it was something she used to frantically pull out of the ground , nothing fancy and medical 😛

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Haha! There’s 10 years between Eldest Son and Aspie D so he would probably feel the same way as you with your brother.
        Ahh…so it was dock leaves!…good, old fashioned survival skills in the woods 😉

        Like

  37. mariekeates says:

    Lovely memories. You make me think about my own childhood and wonder whether I should post some memoirs myself 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Marie, really glad you enjoyed it. You should do it..it’s a wonderful adventure and you’ll be amazed at what memories come to the fore the more you write about them 🙂

      Like

  38. thirdhandart says:

    Great cycling stories Sherri! I’m so glad that your little brother eventually recovered. I was in the Girl Scouts for a few months in the fourth grade. I think I quit because it was too difficult to get to and from the meetings (my mom worked and couldn’t chauffer me).
    When my youngest daughter wanted to join the Girl Scouts, I became one of her troop’s assistant leaders. I drove my daughter, and as many Girl Scouts as my car could safely hold, to and from the meetings. I even volunteered to be in charge of the Girl Scout Cookie Sale. Back then, only ‘full cases’ of cookies could be ordered from the district. The troop (and ultimately the person in charge of the Girl Scout Cookie Sale) was then responsible for selling the extra boxes of cookies. Needless to say, I bought more than a few boxes of those unsold cookies myself. But, my daughter did finish her one (and only) year in the Girl Scouts.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Theresa, I’m so glad you enjoyed these stories, thanks so much! It was similar for me, and after that Hound of the Baskerville incident I was too scared to get myself back and forth to the meetings!
      You sound just like me when my boys were in Cub and Boy Scouts. Once, NIcky’s troop didn’t have any leaders so I volunteered as he wanted to keep going and I ended up being a Cub Scout leader for 2 years!
      When my eldest son was in Boy Scouts I used to drive him every Wednesday night into town some 30 miles away so that he could keep up with his meetings until we were able to move there. I was heavily pregnant with Aspie D at the time!
      Oh the things we do for our kids!
      I love your story, and I remember those Girl Scouts coming to our door selling those cookies! My favourites were the mint flavoured ones (can’t remember the name!) and I was always happy to buy several boxes, admiring all you moms who helped out with the venture! I can well imagine that you ended up with quite a few boxes of all those cookies, but what a great achievement, getting your daughter through her year of Girl Scouts! And a mountain load of delicious cookies 😉

      Like

  39. Love your story. You’d been a great caring sister. Already a little hero to your brother. It’s amazing how looking back to childhood years, when times were simpler, when it’s all play and no worries brings warmth & joy in our hearts. It help us appreciate our life now no matter how crazy sometimes it becomes. Beautiful picture by the bike by the way. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Always a good feeling to read. God bless and have a wonderful happy Summer!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      So glad you enjoyed this little story IT. I wonder if I’m a hero to my little brother, haha! I think he just wanted to be better and faster than me in everything 😉 Still, we are very close and we had so much fun as kids, that’s for sure, as well as one or two hair-raising adventures, LOL 😉 Those childhood years certainly do bring back memories of carefree, simpler times when the world was our oyster and we had time stretched out before us to explore our world and discover all that lay before us. Thank you so much my friend for your lovely comment and about the pic…I remember that day it was taken and being happy with the candy I’m holding! God bless you too, and many happy summer memories for you and your family just waiting to be made 😀

      Like

  40. Imelda says:

    While I was reading your Bike memories, I imagine a movie showing what you are telling. Even if the story is not mine, it is something I enjoy seeing – how fun and carefree and even poetic was the memory and the image you gave.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Imelda, and please let me apologise for taking so long to reply to you. I’ve been chasing around trying to keep up for ages, been so much going on that I have to cram in my blogging time here and there and somehow I must have missed your lovely comment. I loved what you shared here, really encouraged me for my writing so thank you so much. I’m so glad you enjoyed the ‘movie’… 😀

      Like

  41. sf says:

    Beautiful picture! I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes mysteries too!

    Like

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