I took this photograph of our tree house last week, just before it disappears behind its cloak of oak leaves for the summer. As I took it, I wondered if I could find an excuse to publish it on my blog, and thought not. Sadly, I now have.
Several years ago Lucius, a talented amateur carpenter, started building this treehouse on a whim. It was this time of year, and it took him most of his free time for the whole of that summer. Our near neighbours watched the progress with interest and enthusiasm. So did passersby.
In the autumn, we had a visit from a planning official, who said that there had been a complaint, and that we needed planning permission for "the building". It was a while before we were able to find out who had complained: a man who lives on the opposite side of the valley, who needed a pair of binoculars to see it - and then only in the winter, when the leaves of the oak tree had fallen. It seemed almost incredible that anyone could complain about such a beautiful structure, built on seven levels, with an octagonal lantern at the top. It was deeply upsetting.
Happily, the planners unreservedly took our side, and we did not have to demolish the treehouse. Now, however, I find that the builders of another fine treehouse are having similar troubles (thanks Allotment Lady) ... and if you are a British citizen you can help out by signing the petition lodged at Downing Street. I'll keep you posted on how it goes ... even though the only connection with food is that our treehouse has been the venue for a number of fine picnics, particularly in poor weather.
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