With my time in the treehouse drawing to a close, I have become increasingly pensive. What lead me down this path and why? It was with such things in mind that I decided to take a trip down memory lane and head over to the depths of Ashdown Forest: my stomping ground from the age I could walk till the midst of my adolescent youth.
They say some things are best left in the past, in this case seeing what the nouveau-riche scum that now resided in the old Weston homestead had done was appalling. Gone was the orchard and many of the trees I first clambered up, the gardens: landscaped and covered with disgusting moulded statues of naked ladies…clearly money can’t buy taste!
Moving away from the monstrosity that was, in my mind, the perfect place I grew up, I walked about the surrounding woods in search of my early efforts at outdoor living. I was rewarded. A few planks of wood rested in the fork of an old oak tree: this was my first effort at a treehouse, not much considering my present dwelling, but a start none the less. If I remember correctly , I was about 8 years old and the treehouse didn’t get much further than a platform after my father realised I was pinching his very expensive mahogany shelving and nailing it into a tree, discipline followed and that was that.
Another relic of my feral outdoor antics lay close by. The easiest oven you could make (perhaps one I should have considered before my recent efforts), a crumbled, moss-coated heap of bricks, which had once been laid out in circles one on top of the other. I was overjoyed that these markers still sat where they always had… a little bit of my own history still there.
The weather has become colder and my arms are aching from sawing endless branches of heavy old oak to feed bertha. The rain earlier this week was so furious it began to leak into the treehouse and bowls and mugs were strewn across the floor to catch the water. In the past I have welcomed the changing seasons and the leaves falling from the trees, this time it feels different, like watching a dear friend waste away. To say I have been a victim of seasonal affective disorder would be an understatement! But spring will come around again…it always does.