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Monday, 6 February 2012

The Future Women of Wales...

There are times when all we hear about the youth of today is how obese / malnurished they are and how they spend all their time sitting in front of computer games, eating Toffee Crisps and cyber bullying each other. It's quite depressing to know that if you send your kids out to play in the streets, they'll probably get squashed by a massive timber lorry, savaged by a pit bull terrior or someone will ring the police to report that they're skipping in a funny way.

Therefore it did my heart good when it snowed on Saturday - snowed enough to scupper everyone's plans. I was scoffing cottage pie in a cafe, and had to abandon my last few chips - it was that bad.

Our daughter's friend's birthday party was cancelled, so instead we all piled to her house to have party tea there instead. The entertainment was changed to sledging....

Within ten minutes, there were fifteen girls wrapped up and wellied, chucking snowballs at grown-ups and the chickens. Luckily our village has a prime sledging slope - steep, bumpy enough to ruin your coccyx, with a small level bit before petering out into a river: perfect. We all traipsed down, dragging our sledges behind us.

These supposed obese / unfit / computer nerds were soon hurling themselves down the slopes again and again. A sheep got taken out, then a dad. Someone's welly came off, gloves got buried, hats got tangled up in the brambles, but still they kept going. When there wasn't a sledge going spare, they head-over-heeled or sat astride a younger sister. They all had their own styles - some tucked in with perfect streamlining, others hadn't much of a clue and spun off on the first bump, but they all kept going...

It started getting dark, someone had lost their sock, and there was suspected damage to a knee. Despite being a top-skidder when I was younger, I'd bought it over a pile of frozen sheep poo and had crashed and burned, much to the delight of my girls. So it was time to go.

We finally called "Last Sledge" and a big sister went to the bottom to get a photo. Fifteen girls piled down - those who didn't have a sledge dived down on their stomachs, with blood-curdling cries.

My thought about what the photo would be warmed my heart - all those bright strong girls enjoying themselves with no need for a hair straightener or a Future WAG t-shirt in sight. As we trudged back, dragging the younger ones on their sledges and then scoffed piles and piles of sandwiches and birthday cake, I was excited to see the photo.

It turned out to be a murky dark splodge, as it must have been darker than I thought...