In many ways I had an idyllic childhood, surrounded by loving family, a few close friends and pets. I was always quite shy and slow to make friends, but the ones I did make I kept. I was also quite happy to be on my own, and to explore imaginary places!

A big part of growing up was the great sense of freedom and being out of doors – we especially spent a lot of time on the Northumberland Coast – this is a very special place to me, and we still visit at least once a year. This sense of connection has been passed on to my children – and now that we have our first grandchild, I am sure she will also visit the area, and listen to the tales we tell of growing up in a beautiful part of the country.

Childhood isn’t all wonderful – there are upsets, mistakes and issues which we cannot control or understand – but as long as we have the good times and our families, we can learn to cope with these. Especially when we have those pets to listen to us and to give us cuddles!


Maxine Jolly
A long way away from childhood
Outside Scotland

Would you like to contribute a childhood memory? We are collecting stories to better understand what helps children flourish. Submit your story here: childrensparliament.org.uk/yoc-childhood-stories/


Maxine’s memories