Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Fairy Tree Folk finally front up


As regular readers know, I'm enjoying wandering about my local 'hood and trying to find out the answers to mysteries that even most of the locals who've lived there for yonks* don't know. We've found out that the wonky M on the housing commission flats is a groovy lift shaft; and that Mr P was a lovable German Shepherd with squinty eyes now busy fertilising a geranium bush.

This gorgeous little gem-encrusted tree house was mystery number three - who created it and who lives there?

Several weeks went by without any reply to my politely-worded card and I started to despair until one day, as I sat sniffling at my computer screen wondering if I could get away with shoving two test tubes up my nostrils to save on tissues and snout rash, I received an email from the wary-but-informative Keeper of the Fairy Tree.

They wrote:

"It is actually known as 'Tree Man's House. There is a bit of a story to it, but mostly it is whatever visitors want to think it is. The little kids that stop for a play with it are generally not the least bit interested in why we decorated the tree, they just come up with their own idea about who lives there and go from there. Most take it to be a fairy tree.

A while back the council decided to remove all of the fully grown trees in our street and I took up a petition to try to keep them. It failed, but a few of us did manage to keep trees in front of our houses. My partner, our son and I are familiar with an elves tree on the Mt Buller Rd where we have stopped for visits. My son always took this to be the home of a tree man and he and his dad made a home in our 'saved' tree for tree man's brother.

Tree man has a large family and they like to visit. It started off with a door, chimney, window and a bit of garden and has been added to by visitors since. One of our neighbours who had worked in costume design, left on tree man's doorstep, some lovely hand made little felt booties that were filled with the little gems that are now studded all over the tree. I think that she also delivered a small ceramic dog that had its own cloth kennel. Someone else made the little wooden table and log seats that are on the side. Little things turn up every so often as passers by take a fancy to the tree and want to add to it.


















Not everyone cares for the decorations. A while ago the Flem-Ken News had a photo of it with the author captioning it as a bit over the top (pompous bastards - Kath). Mostly, it is a favourite stop for little kids en route to home or the shops."

And nosy grown-ups with orange dogs.

* A 'yonk' an elastic measure of time, usually indicating a large amount, as in "Madonna hasn't released a decent song - or bowel moment - for yonks." My mother is rather fond of saying "But that was YONKS ago" if we ask her why she's appearing in another bloody musical when last year's one seemed to be full of backstage sniping, griping about the quality of costumes and abilities of actors in the lead roles and constant jostling for front row chorus positions.

19 comments:

Miles McClagan said...

If I start a new country, the currency will be the yonk, with the lesser currency the struth...

Kath Lockett said...

And ten yonks should equal a Crikey, which, if you amass a thousand of them, means you're a Ockernaire.

LJP said...

Hee hee!! I never thought I'd read the word "yonk" in a blog post...
Thank You!!

I love the fairy tree!!

p.s. voted for you in BOTB

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks LJP. Maybe I should start a campaign to repopularise (internationally as well) the word 'Yonk'.

River said...

Yonks is one of my favourite words, I often use it and am disappointed that it isn't used more. Perhaps I could increase my usage and start a trend. Same with crikey. A little research on old Aussie slang might keep me occupied for a while.
I love the fairy tree and I'm glad the mystery is now solved. What's next on your mystery list?
Regular smearings of a waterproof cream should help to keep the nose and upper lip area less dry and sore. Vaseline is good, or try Sorbolene cream, the thick stuff in a screw top jar, not the more liquid lotion, a liberal application two or three times a day and get the aloe vera tissues for extra softness.

The Man at the Pub said...

And if I'm not mistaken, the etymology of "Yonks" is "Donkey's Years" which I assume means that donkeys have an inordinate lifespan.

And thank you Kath, for yet another urban mystery solved. You make the mundane exquisitely, tantalisingly mundane. Maybe you should form a gang, called the Famous Flemington Five or something.... even though there is only two of you, but one of you is a dog... so you get extra points in the under 12's crime-fighting street cred scene.

squib said...

Hey Kath, I was reading a catalogue and I came across one of your book reviews

Benjamin Solah said...

That's cool.

By the way, what happened to your super mum post? I loved that one.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks for the etymology lesson and I like your suggestion, Mr Pub. Milly and I could be the Tentative Twosome, sniffing our way around Flemington's more mysterious parts....

Squib yes, I've done some for Readings and (soon) for The Big Issue.

Benjamin, well-spotted and thankyou. Mostly, however, stay tuned.....

Terence McDanger said...

I can't believe a big GNID fan like you got through this without at least one mention of Moon Face and Dame Washalot! Really!

Baino said...

Oh you're such a sleuth. Well done you! And what twat in their right mind would object. I remember as a kid being driven past a very special house (a real one) near my gran's which was totally decorated with fantasy characters and cartoon people. The neighbour's must have gone crazy but as kids we just loved it! Miley can I live in your country? I'm rich in yonks! And positively overloaded with Crikey's.

River, every comment is a post! I'm going to keep nagging . .dripping tap style . .

Kath Lockett said...

Oh do buck-up Terence, and sit down and enjoy a pot of tea and bread and butter with lashings of jam and fresh cream, will you?

Baino, we had such a house in our home town too - more tyres bent into swans and painted white standing next to gnomes than you could shake a stick at.

TOM said...

It seems I haven't commented here in yonks, every time I visit I laugh!!

I am going to introduce the word Yonk and see if I can get the Yanks using Yonk!!

mary_bc said...

My first time in..what a treat to find something truly entertaining and light. Enjoyed the wit in the comments as well.

Keep on solving these divine little jems.

Kath Lockett said...

Tom, best of luck getting the Yanks to use Yonk. Don't get it confused with 'bonk' or you'll be having an entirely different (though perhaps not unwanted) conversation!

Thanks Mary - it's nice to finally have a task to do that suits the NOSE that I was born with!

River said...

I googled Australian Slang and there's a lot of words and meanings that I'd never heard of. For instance, did you know that during WW2 sausages and mashed potato was known as airships and clouds?

drb said...

Bravo Kath! Another mystery solved.
Can you please solve the mystery of the weatherboard house on Erskine St Nth Melb?

I always thought Yonks come from 'eons', ie. a long time. Then I was told it is a unit of time in Britain - exactly 3 months and 13 days.

Helen said...

we say "yonks" here too!

So in the spirit of comparing our great countries... do kids there keep silkworms as pets?

Kath Lockett said...

Erskine St, North Melbourne. Hmmmm, I'll consider it when I've solved *all* the mysteries of Flemington, Dr B!

River - THATS the sort of stuff YOU could put in a blog!

Helen, silkworms as pets aren't too common, but Sapphire's class did have them last year. Hell of job trying to find mulberry leaves though.....