When I was a boy, every meadow had a pond in it where the horses could drink and wash their feathers, ponds which had three kinds of newts and lots of other wild life and you could fish all day and not catch much.
When I was a boy, you could catch sticklebacks and gudgeon and perch and roach in the local canal, and, if you were so inclined, you could also swim in it.
When I was a boy, you could walk the three miles to Wellington past cornfields where corncrakes rasped. And find every singing skylark in the sky, honest to god, every single one.
When I was a boy, the hedges were full of more species than I could put a name to, and full of nests with eggs that said blackbird, songthrush, hedge sparrow, bullfinch, and many others that I couldn't recognise.
When I was a boy, I was slim and full of energy and liked girls (didn't understand them, but liked them) and the summers were eight months long.
When I was a boy, I had no idea life would end up like this.
Mind you, when I was a boy, you also could go to the village cinema for 2d (old money) and have your parts felt by some old guy sitting next to you.
What has survived of that idyllic time? You tell me. Only the bad bits, I suspect.