Grown-ups can have hide-outs, too

When you were young, did you have a favourite hide-out? Somewhere you could go to get away from daily life and grab a few minutes to yourself? Mine was at the top of a huge great beech tree in the back garden of our family home, where the branches formed a sort of crow’s nest from which I could see out over the neighbourhood.

My parents weren’t too keen on me climbing all the way up to the top of this massive tree, so tried to tempt me down with a treehouse (to the extent that a piece of plywood nailed across two branches can be called a treehouse) in the lower branches of the yew tree next to my hide-out. But I wasn’t having any of it, so I’d spend hours up at the top of ‘my’ tree, out of reach of the world.

At the age of thirty six, I suspect that my tree-climbing days are behind me. But I didn’t see why that should mean that I couldn’t still have a hide-out. So a little while ago, Natalie and I bought a flat-pack summerhouse to put in our garden.

We built a little patio to stand it on, put some root barrier around the bamboo plants so that they didn’t overwhelm it and then spent a happy day putting the thing together. And with a lick of paint, a quick trim of the hedge and a little re-arrangement of the outdoor pot plants, my (or, rather, our) hide-out was ready. He’re it is…

Our new summerhouse

(In case you’re wondering, the huge building behind the summerhouse is my next door neighbour’s pigeon shed, not some sneaky extension to our hide-out…)

For the inside, we got some outdoor chairs and a matching table from the local DIY store. We also bought a cheap rug from IKEA to put on the floor and found some seaside-themed pictures to hang on the back wall. It won’t be making its way onto the pages of Ideal Home any time soon, but it’s my (sorry, our) hide-out and I’m happy with it. Here’s a view of the inside…

Our new summerhouse

With the weather over the past couple of weeks having been reasonably sunny, we’ve spent quite a lot of time in our new hide-out, reading the paper and generally chatting and chilling out. It’s been really nice to just get away from everyday things (even though we’re only a matter of feet from the house) and relax. And Molly thinks it’s great, too, as she gets to sit with us in the sunshine. This is her ‘I approve of this hide-out’ face…

Molly in the sunshine

And this is Molly and Natalie sharing a brief snack-related ‘moment’ in the sunshine…

Natalie and Molly enjoying a 'moment'

In the evenings, when it’s not too cold or windy, we’ve taken to heading out to our hide-out after dinner, putting some little candles on the patio and nattering away until it gets dark. We’re usually rushing around doing our separate things during the daytime, so I really enjoy this time that we spend together. It’s the perfect way to just catch up with what’s going on in our lives and to wind down before going to bed. And it’s a lot less hassle than climbing up to the top of a tree.

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