WE ALL think that summers were longer, rain heavier and Wagon Wheels bigger when we were nippers.
I remember going out to play after my breakfast, getting called in for lunch and tea and then getting a row for being back later than I should have been as the dusk set in.
But what on earth was I doing all that time?
As I got older I was given the fantastic present of a ZX Spectrum 48k and remember spending some time on Horace Goes Skiing and Jet Set Willy, but that didn't account for much of my summer time.
The simple answer to what I did all summer is 'play out'.
There was no mobile, PSP or anything to make a noise, other than a stick dragged noisily along a fence.
I'm not harking back to some post-war 1950s rose-tinted vision - I grew up in the 1980s on a council estate in Barnsley.
But it seems that some of the games of my youth - and probably yours - may be going the way of my Spectrum.
One of the best games ever is Kerbie (or Kerby).
This simple game takes two people and a football. Each player stands on a kerb (hence the name) and throws the ball across to the other kerb (without it bouncing).
If you hit the kerb and it bounces back, you take a leap forward and try again.
If not, your opposite number gets a go.
I spent many a happy hour retrieving the ball from hedges, bushes and back gardens after an overambitious throw had looped over some poor unsuspecting householders fence, thus compelling me to tramp about in the their flowers.
You learnt where you could play - and where you couldn't. I always remember one vicious dog which seemed infuriated by my regular appearances in the garden.
The other main problem, which is inherent with the game, is cars. You need a road to throw the ball across, and cars tend to use these byways.
I suppose that as we move forward in time, people worried about losing their jobs, which fund astronomical mortgages and car loan repayments, may be slightly miffed when some mucky urchin climbs over their gate in the search for a battered 'casey' which has just rebounded off their leather-seated vehicle, leaving a great muddy print on the side.
Maybe the game was more dangerous than I remembered?
A tip we learnt early on was to always use a ball with a leather cover, the 'casey' (or 'caser' according to my Northern Irish colleague and sounding board Barry Gibson).
We learnt this because we played one time with a 'ten-bob floater', one of those brightly coloured balls you buy at the seaside which then deflates at roughly the same speed as the weather on a British summer holiday.
The game with the floater saw it caught by a gust of wind and pushed down the street, seemingly possessed.
David, the lad I was playing with, chased after it. The last I saw of him was as the vivid yellow ball turned a 90 degree corner to escape his grasp.
I never saw him again. Some said his family moved away, others said he was banned from playing with us after getting caught retrieving the ball from the windowbox of an old lady his mum knew.
But we all knew - and still know - he's currently vainly chasing that football somewhere, it just eluding his outstretched (and now thirtysomething) hands.