But then he had a garden that was an acre. In our diminutive (though large by modern standards) garden, there were only a couple of spindly silver birches and they rapidly outgrew the space and had to be cut down.
No chance fora treehouse there. I was envious.
My friend used to sleep out occasionally in his treehouse during the summer months. It was a six by four space with a felted roof which easily accommodated an eleven year old boy in a sleeping bag. This, we considered, was very cool.
|A dark Boxing day landscape and some rain on the lens.|
So we headed up towards the Cotswolds to the area I grew up in around Wotton Under Edge. It rained a lot, of course it did: It hasn't stopped raining since April. But it was nevertheless very beautiful and I revisited some boyhood memories of fossil hunting and string spear-throwers. It's all a bit overgrown there now but when we were kids, the trampling of many pairs of juvenile feet kept the undergrowth down. All manner of games were played here and what finer playground could a ten year old lad and his friends hope for?
|How could you NOT imagine hunting dinosaurs here?|
It was, until that unreasonable tyrant puberty changed my motivations and made me feel acutely isolated and miserable, a great place to be a kid
And though I didn't really find myself experiencing any nostalgia for the place or the time, I did occasionally view it through the eyes of my ten-year-old self. It's strange revisiting somewhere from your distant past, but as I mentioned once before, memories are best viewed as just that and to attempt to recapture their atmosphere is usually a mistake. But I did stumble over some of that and I did get the urge to make a bow and arrow. But I didn't have any string and it was raining too hard anyway.
Looking at the small settlements, Wortley, Aderley, Nind, it struck me that the old ramshackle farms and crumbly buildings which used to house farm labourers are all now pristine, renovated and very des-res. Many of the old tumbledown cottages must now be worth half a million or so, with their limestone facades and in one case, thatched roof (we never had thatched roofs round there. What are they thinking?). One place even has a pair of stone stags on plinths. I know taste varies, but that is a bit tacky, surely? No, no, I shouldn't judge and perhaps they come to life at night and are joined in the garden by satyrs and centaurs. I like to think so.
There is, it seems, money about, if you look in the right places. And I do not begrudge this development: The places would surely have fallen down and been lost had they not been bought and done up. And it means there are plenty of people with sufficient disposable income to finance the local farmers' markets and enough pushy determination to keep the local schools open and to a high standard.
|I always wanted one of these!|