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.
"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.