Sunday, May 20, 2012

Every Little Boy's Dream House

Were things in the 60s and 70s simpler or just different?

We didn't have computers or iPods or iPads or Wii or Xbox. We didn't even have TV. I remember my first direct brush with technology was listening to Dad's Army on a valve radio in my bedroom on Sunday nights. I wonder if Josh will remember, 40 years from now, huddling under the covers playing Minecraft on his iPod.

As nostalgic as I tend to be, I realise times have changed, priorities are different, and it's a brave new world. But every now and then I enjoy how Josh simply does not understand what it means when I tell him that I did not have a TV or a computer when I was his age. We comprehend these things as adults, but children simply have no concept. "No TV? You mean, you didn't have one in your room?" "No Josh, we didn't HAVE one. At all. Possibly no one on the whole street had one." Oh, yeah. He finally understands. "So why didn't you just go buy one?"


Anyway, I digress. Sort of. When I was a boy, an awesome treehut was probably the epitome of entertainment. Sure we had bikes, and toy cars, and even train sets. We made guns out of bits of wood, and bows and arrows out of tree branches.
Those things were common. But not many boys I knew had really cool tree huts. In fact, none of them did. Secretly we longed for a tree hut. A proper one. Not just a few planks nailed into some branches for a semblance of a barrier. We wanted an enclosed, roofed, windowed haven in the canopy. Something with a lockable door to keep girls out. And even beyond out wildest dreams of what was possible, one with a separate lookout point, some sort of platform high-point so we could see those nasty girls coming! But even the most ambitious of us wouldn't have dared to desire such a thing.

So when I saw this recently, I realised that the impossible does exist! I just found it 40 years too late. It was tucked in the back of a house near Hagley Park. It backs on to a nice little reserve beside the river. I can so imagine  me and my mates sitting in their with dad's binoculars spying on unsuspecting passersby (okay, yes, the cute girl across the street). I wonder if nowadays the children who own this cool treehut sit in there and play on their iPads, with iPod music playing in their ears. The viewing platform is probably closed because of Health and Safety concerns. In fact, the whole thing may be closed pending consent from the Council.

Yes, perhaps life was simpler.

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