From the age of 5 to 11 (1988-1994) I attended a lovely little primary school in the heart of Epping Forest called High Beech. There were only about 11 children in my year group and the school only had three classrooms in total so it was very small and friendly.
As well as a playground we had a school field which sloped downwards, and at the bottom of the field was the Old Man Oak Tree.
We had names for all main trees on the field, which was very useful for playing games.
The most memorable game for me was something we called '1,2,3, Block Home'. One person was 'It' and the had to count to 100 leaning against the oak tree while all the other children scarpered in different directions, each aiming for their chosen hiding place (very similar to hide and seek here).
After the person had finished counting he/she would have to walk away from the their post/home (the oak tree) and try and spy a person hiding.
During this time children who were hiding could decide to make a run for the oak tree, the idea was to get to the oak tree (home) before the person who was 'It' caught you out' by running back to the tree, touching it and shouting "1, 2, 3, I see Steven Edwards running towards me".
You could also be caught out if the person who was 'It' spied you, ran back to the oak tree, and shouted out "1, 2, 3, I see Natalie Morley in Holly Bush No.1" In which case if you were Natalie and hiding behind Holly Bush No.1 you where out.
Now you could see why it was so important to have names for the trees. As I've already mentioned there was the The Old Man Oak Tree, Holly Bushes No.1, 2 and 3 (very large hollies; You could actually go inside No. 2 and 3, the way the branches had grown had left hollows inside the bushes so we would hide and play house inside them, sweeping them 'clean' with little branches of leaves), the Sycamore Bushes, the Magic Tree (I think this was a Hawthorn, it had gnarled bark and at the base was lump of quartz stone embedded in the ground with moss growing on it) Then there was the Rocket Tree (a large Sycamore that had several trunks coming up from the base, so that you could climb into the middle and sit in it like a space ship).
Anyway, the song I was humming was Autumn Days and it was my favourite song to sing during school assemblies. My year group chose to sing it at our leavers assembly, it didn't seem to matter that the leavers assembly was in July!
Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled
And the silk inside a chestnut shell
Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well
So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget.
Clouds that look like familiar faces
And a winter’s moon with frosted rings
Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces
And the song the milkman sings.
Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes so comfy though they’re worn out and they’re battered
And the taste of apple pie.
Scent of gardens when the rain’s been falling
And a minnow darting down a stream
Picked-up engine that’s been stuttering and stalling
And a win for my home team.