Of treehouses

P1010728 There is something quite fine about a well executed party. The ebb and flow of people. The sipping of beverages. The meeting of old friends, the acquainting of new. The pounding beats and the mellow vibes from a delicately contrived playlist (well ok, Marilyn Manson during the grandparents tea and cakes was mistimed). The lights playing gently in the trees as swathes of bubbles float gently past. The swaying in huge cargo nets, suspended as a spider would weave her gossamer nets in the sky.

Admittedly, not all of these experiences happen at every party, but then not every party is held at a treehouse. It’s hard to describe the venue particularly well… I guess I could sum it up as a wasted youth. When other kids were out playing on their BMX’s, or supping furtively on a bottle of cider in a bus shelter, for some reason friends of mine and I spent happy weekends building a behemoth construction at the bottom of their garden. Literally years in the making, the treehouse has grown beyond all our imaginings, to a venue that has catered to parties of over three hundred, accommodated in areas ranging from the aforementioned suspended cargo nets, to an underground tee-pee village. Quite a surreal place really.

Anyway, the party was most excellent. Catching up with folks I had not anticipated on seeing for at least another year. Congratulating people on recent engagements, missed birthdays, new babies. Thanking people for making the journey, some from as far away as Newcastle. Sitting around, swopping tales of the past year, the adventures of life that I had missed out on, as meat was grilled over the fire and quantities of beer were imbibed. After much jollity and fun, when the embers of the fire were burnt down and the beer supplies had been steadily worn away, the lights were turned out, the music ended, and beds were sought, as the birds were preparing for their dawn chorus.

Post party, the Sunday recovery effort largely featured a walk around the area. A pool was swum in, despite it feeling roughly as warm as the Tasman sea in winter. Our walk allowed us to spy the spires of Oxford from afar, a city which is as pretty to behold from a distance as it is to wander around up close.

Today, we have conquered the quirks of the Welsh railway network, on a journey which has taken us a little under six hours to travel something pitiful like 200 miles, to the rural and mountain filled landscape of the Snowdonia national park, where I am catching up with the majority of my family (having a compact family certainly has its benefits). My parents seemed genuinely delighted to see me, and having not seen them for fourteen months this is perhaps not unexpected. The weather is looking changeable, but I have high hopes of getting some walking done. I’d like to finish this post by thanking everyone who made the week thus far what it has been, for turning up, for being fun, and generally, just for being, well, you. And everyone else who is reading too: have a smile on me.

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