When my husband was a boy, he loved building things: dens, camps... you name it. His garden had a swing and a small lawn where he used to camp out on summer days but what it didn't have was a tree house and that was because it didn't have a tree.
Luckily for him, and his like-minded friends, at the end of the road was a wood and this was where they would go to play. Dens and camps were dutifully constructed and so too was a tree house, right in the arms of a chestnut tree.
I asked him what they used to build this house with its bird's eye view and he just said, "Oh, you know - old packing cases and stuff that was lying about."
Actually, I didn't know. Never having had a head for heights, a tree house was not something I'd ever wanted or considered building. I was happy playing with my Tressy and Cindy dolls on the safety of my lawn.
When my own girls were little, their father built them a Wendy House. It was just like having a tree house except it was not in a tree. I'd sit inside it with them and read them stories (something I'd never have been able to do if the house had been built in the boughs of the apple tree next to it).
This must all have been in my mind when I wrote my story, Magic Moments, which is published in the latest People's Friend Special. It's about a boy whose father builds him a tree house. It's his place of refuge - especially in the days after his father death. It's only when he invites a special someone to join him for tea in his special place in the treetops that his family can start to heal.
When I think about it, trees must be a thing of mine as I've written two other stories, The Willow Tree, and Up a Tree which have both been published in The Friend (under other titles). Another is with them at the moment!
Have trees featured in your own childhood at all?