My cousin Steve did though.
He was 7, I was 9 and the big cousins from New Zealand, Rick and Liz were visiting. Steve was the naughtiest 7 year old you could imagine and the apple of his mum's eye, but nevertheless, constantly in trouble with various people. On this particular occasion, Steve climbed to the level of the attic windows - a feat that impressed his cousin Rachel (and still does) and could have resulted in sudden death. His mum was panicking and it was up to our big cousin Rick, who had grown up on a farm in New Zealand, to calmly and resignedly go and guide Steve down again. I was also pretty impressed with him. Even more so as I still never went higher than the easy to reach branch at 20 ft.
I am still impressed with my cousins. One is now a fire fighter (Steve) and Watch Commander on one of the Channel Islands. He has had a lot of need for the physical courage he showed (he also used to frequently jump off harbour walls and suchlike in front of our grandfather to wind him up) in his job and mental courage as a member of his family has been battling cancer recently. I know which has been harder for him.
The other I am impressed by because, although he is a five times Academy Award winner, he still has a heart for helping people, and still, according to this blog from New Zealand, 'Richard’s a big guy, kind of goofy and affable, with the common touch.'
I don't get to see him too often, but maybe next visit, as his wife's family come from a little town in the Forest of Dean called Lydney.
I never did climb that high, but I did later go on to abseil down the face of the twenty storey library building in Moldon in Surrey. My friend Catherine had decided to do this sponsored abseil and there were several lads staying at the flat she shared with her boyfriend, Con (he became an accountant, appropriately) and they went and dared me to go and do it too. I had a bit of a headache, so I thought it might take my mind off it as well as being a cure for vertigo. I leant back over the edge and was asking (quite loudly) to be pulled back, but was encouraged by the bloke on the other end from the organising charity to take my first step down. I did so, and was so surprised at how easy it was that I relaxed and slipped, and was left dangling from the safety rope. I made it down though, although those who dared me and were watching were a shade or two paler than they had been. (I will name no names, as they are all lawyers now, apart from Con-the-accountant, who deserves it for the torture he inflicted on my friends' teddy bears at college. He froze one in a margarine tub and used it for ice hockey in the corridors. I rest my case.)
Let me tell you now, to save you the effort, that abseiling down a twenty storey building does (a) not cure vertigo and (b) does not cure headaches. When I was throwing up in his bathroom at 3am the next morning, Con came stumbling in and said, "Rach, please just take some paractamol next time."
What I would say to the children on Oakdale, as a future officer (I hope to be elected as one shortly) of Oakdale Links is: On no account climb trees. You can fall out of them and hurt yourself. This is sound advice.
My second pice of advice to them is: "Reach for the stars; shoot for the sky." as it says in one of the books my cousin Rick's wife sent for my son for Christmas, which was written by one of his colleagues.
What I would also like to say is 'thank you' to friends who have recently provided advise to me. I do listen and to prove that I do, I listened to Con-the Accountant and have never done another abseil down a twenty storey building to cure a headache.