1. The first time… I read a map, was a mud map my mother drew for me as an adventure to take the dog for a walk across the fields, through the spinney, around the edge of the yellow king-cup filled marsh, and up to the woodland that ran along the top of the ridge.
2. The first time…I felt alone was hiking solo on the wild windswept Moor of Rannoch, west of Pitlochry in Scotland. As the light began to fade I embarked on a ‘short-cut’ down to the Loch. Leaving the longer, safer route of the marked path, I headed off over innocent looking tufty grass, which camouflaged a squelchy bottomless peat bog.
3. The first time…I slept on a beach under the stars, was in NE Spain in a little cove close to the French border called Port Lligat, where Salvador Dali had a home, and who the next day I saw in the village.
4. The first time…I was in a storm at sea, which you’d have sworn was on a Hollywood set the way the rain lashed horizontally and buckets of water sloshed down the decks, was on a boat between the Russian border and Norway’s NordKapp, north of the Arctic Circle.
5. The first time…I travelled alone, was around the English countryside camping in an ex-Post Office Morris Minor van the summer before I went to college.
6. The first time…I worked as a barmaid, keen to give value for money I filled a poor man’s pint of Guinness right to the rim – not a mm of the beautiful white frothy cream was left in the glass as the black liquid levelled.
7.The first time…I went fishing in a boat was off the Isle of Mull, Scotland, where the freshly caught mackerel were cooked crumbed with Scots oats.
8. The first time…I saw fear in a man’s eyes was in a flash flood in the Pilbara, Western Australia. The man’s panel van had been lifted and swept off the causeway as he tried to cross the fast flowing and swiftly rising creek and ended up wedged against a tree, which he climbed out onto and was hanging onto for dear life.
9. The first time…I breathed in a different atmosphere to the temperate atmosphere of my English homeland was in Singapore – I remember the doors of the aeroplane opening and being hit by a wall of hot humidity that formed condensation on the inside of my lungs.
10. The first time…I got slam dunked by a wave was body surfing in Bali ~ I was dragged down, tossed around like a rag doll and scrapped along the bottom before my boyfriend grabbed me and pushed me up to the surface, where I sucked in lungfuls of air
11. The first time…I rode a motorbike was the 3,000km round trip from Darwin to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia, and back on a 380cc.
12. The first time… I smashed through a railway crossing barrier was in a huge haulage truck that I was hitching a lift with in Denmark.
13. The first time…I saw a dead person was in Calcutta.
14. The first time…I marvelled over wild flowers, their variety and beauty in the hedgerows of England was during a primary school competition where every week for the summer I had to find 10 different blooms ~ I won 🙂
Can you remember the first time you… ?
Do share in the comments below 🙂