When I was a kid my brothers and Dad built us a tree house. It wasn’t much, really, just a platform high up in the limbs of a group of gums down near the chook shed. There was a railing of questionable safety value around the outside and a ladder to climb up. It was made from old decking. It was a rickety old thing, but my brothers and I loved it up there.
Usually it was the headquarters for our army games, but sometimes I liked to pretend it was the scene of an Enid Blyton adventure, or something more childish that my brothers wouldn’t allow. The best thing about the tree house is that it was our house. The adults didn’t climb the ladder and hunt us down. They never told us to clean it up. It was our domain and no one was required to be responsible (bar not pushing each other off the platform) or sensible.
Many years ago our tree house, long neglected, crumbled to the ground. No one was particularly sad about it. It probably took us a month or two to notice, to be honest.
My parents are preparing to move away from the farm I grew up on, but they wanted their grandchildren to have a chance to experience the world of the tree house before they left. My Dad and brother have built a much sturdier and lower platform in a Lillypilly outside the study window. The canopy of the tree hides the platform until you’re right under it. It’s the perfect hidey-hole for kids to get up to mischief.