It struck a chord with me as I remembered my own rather idyllic childhood, growing up in a small rural community on a farm in Essex. I suspect my parents would have been arrested virtually every day for allowing us to do the things which seemed perfectly natural at the time. I was driving a combine harvester at the age of 9. My father would think nothing of allowing a dozen of the village children climb aboard his tractor and trailer stacked with hay bales and driving along the road with them clinging on for dear life. My sisters and I would disappear for hours at a time exploring the local woods. I worked on the farm from a very young age. I operated dangerous equipment. I mucked out the pigs. I set fields of stubble on fire. My friends spent hours on the farm without their parents worrying a jot about where they were or what they were doing. I walked home very day from primary school on my own or with my younger sisters. None of these things would be possible today. It makes you think.
* The picture is admittedly not of my childhood - it's from 1983, whenI was 21, but it's a favourite one of me with my Dad.