Out of my tree

My tree sat outside our house in the naval estate at the top of town. I cant remember what type of tree it was – back in early to mid 80’s I could tell you what K.I.T.T. stood for and how fast Airwolf could fly, but anything that didn’t involve action tv shows was beyond my remit. Still, that tree on the grass slope behind my house was one of my favourite things from that part of my childhood.

It had strong branches that began about a meter and a half up its trunk, so being one of the taller kids in the area meant I could climb it with a moderate struggle. The branches splayed out and upward so that once I’d climbed up to the first level there was a good place to sit inside the leafy cocoon it formed. Climbing still further up, the branches opened out at the top to form an area that could seat two in relative comfort, should one of my friends make it up into my tree with me.

I spent hours just sitting in my tree – watching the neighbourhood and listening to the sounds of the summer. Not that climbing the tree was a fair weather affair for me – I remember rolling a decent sized snow ball to help me climb my tree wearing heavy moon boots during the middle of winter.

All the kids in the area knew that the tree was my tree, and I became quite protective of it. I had a bit of a fight with the boy next door at one point because I was sure he’d climbed my tree while I’d been away visiting the grandparents. He probably hadn’t, since he was quite small, but he had managed it before, so paranoia set in. My best friend convinced me that the boy next door had indeed not climbed my tree, but that was only after I’d made the boy cry, and I felt bad about that. But in defence, it was my tree.

One morning, as I got ready for school, my mum urgently called me downstairs because a man who lived in the house behind my tree was up a step ladder, cutting the lowest branch with a saw. I was so upset I nearly cried, but as much as I wanted to run outside and topple him from his ladder, I’ve never been much for confrontations.

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Xmas 2004

xmas family dinnerSince I’ve been back I’ve been working away both at home and in the office, so this is the reason we’re at mid January and I’m only just getting round to an update. Xmas holiday 2004 turned out to be a pleasant vacation, if just as rushed as any other trip back to Scotland. I don’t think I’ve managed to successfully cover so much in the space of a week before, though, so to do the amount of things we did, and have a good time was tops. Since Fliss has a detailed account on her site, I’ll just list my highlights here to save covering the same ground.

Xmas day was great – it snowed, and to come down from the loft in the morning to a white xmas, the last I’ll have in that house, was really cool. Top marks to meteorology for that one. Fliss got me two excellent presents in the form of a giant jar of chilli peppers and a pair of monster slippers. Her microwaveable teddy bear was well received, too, so it turns out we can do xmas presents on a budget! Most of the day was then spent playing TimeSplitters 2 on the PlayStation with Andrew, before having a tasty mum made dinner in the evening. The picture on the right shows us sitting down at the table for dinner (clockwise: Steven, Ann, Andrew, Iain, me, Fliss), and this too-cool-to-smile picture of Iain and I shows us relaxing afterwards – check out my kewl monster slippers!

On the Monday, Auntie Mary’s Murder Mystery evening was pretty good fun, with Crazy Uncle John going the whole hog in his role as the pantomime dame. I had been appointed as the director by Auntie Mary, so I didn’t get to dress up, but it was a good laugh all the same.

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