Back then mums and dads didn't go in for quality time or anything so fey with their kids. They lived their lives (whatever that involved) and you were left to yours. You could play football in the street. Or lie flat on a railway sleeper floating through a culvert on the canal. Or you could follow the motorway for miles on the other side of the fence, passing through factory units and farm yards. Or you could see who could jump furthest down concrete steps on the stairwells at Ashfield Valley flats, carrying the whimpering victor home later. Or you could get out your bike and ride to Hollingworth Lake where the tougher kids, knees knocking, chins trembling, waded out into the icy blue, fearful of gigantic child-eating pikes.