Late summer


Lovely, languid summer.
There is a vague suggestion of Autumn in the early mornings now and the garden dearly needs some rain. Mum and Dad return to Australia on Wednesday after having been here for almost three months. It’s been such a good, long visit – a lot of which Dad has been taking his amateur carpentry skills to the max – building us all sorts of stuff out in the garden. An extension to our woodshed ready for wood for the long winter, a swing, a sandbox for Lily, and his pièce de résistance – a treehouse.

Not all that long ago Dad built a treehouse in his backyard in Melbourne – you might remember it. It was a beauty. Shortly after Dad finished it, we told my parents that we had decided to move to Canada. Both the girls suggested that he shouldn’t worry, he’d just have to come and build us one in our new garden. And just over a year later, that’s what he’s done. What a legend my dad is.

Today we finished sanding off the splintery bits and hung a quick makeshift tent between the trees and the treehouse was ready for action. Dad’s plan is that he will return next year and build a little house up on the platform with sliding windows, shingled walls and a clear plastic roof. It’s going to be weather-proof enough to become a tiny little guest room. Our lucky guests will be able to lie  snuggled up inside, looking up at the stars above through the boughs of the fir trees. Sounds nice, really.

For those who are keen to make a treehouse – dad suggests that the The Treehouse Bookby Peter Nelson helped him a lot for ideas, inspiration and some technical tips. It sits almost permanently on our coffee table, when it isn’t beside someone’s bed. It’s a lovely book for dreaming.

Eating: Apple-Blackberry Pie – the recipe says this is “advanced”. It’s not really. It’s a bit fiddly and takes quite a lot of time to construct and to cook, but it’s worth the effort for a seriously impressive pie.

Drinking: Coffee. Just one cup a day, but with *cream*. Oh Canada, you have brought me many good things, but putting cream in my coffee is my latest delight. Does anyone do this in Australia? I never noticed if they did.

Watching: The Young Visiters– a 2003 adaptation of the delightful book written in 1890 by 9 year old Daisy Ashford. Perhaps it’s because I had the book growing up, or perhaps it’s because I have an almost-9 year old, but I found this so charming. Starring Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy, the film is just how a 9 year old would write, art direct and produce a film if they had unlimited funds and imagination.

Counting down: The days until school goes back. Bitter-sweetness! This year Lily starts school and is ready and raring to go.

17 Responses to “Late summer”

  1. tobamiry

    Vienna Coffee was a popular choice in Australia in the 70’s & 80’s. It was the pre-latte days when you could order black espresso coffee with either cream or whipped cream placed on the top decorated with a sprinkle of chocolate. Its fallen out of favour and you don’t see it offerred in the coffee shops anymore but its a yummy alternative!

  2. jan | poppytalk

    Wow – your girls sound so lucky to have such a great grandfather to build them that treehouse! Sounds like when it’s finished it’ll be amazing!: )

    Glad you’re enjoying the cream in your coffee!

  3. mum of all trades

    What a very talented father you have! Grandads are the best aren’t they? Love your blog I have just discovered it so I’m off to read more of your lovely posts.

  4. Susan

    I must ask: if not with cream then how do Australians drink their coffee? I’m in Chicagoand, and there are some hardy souls that take it black (nothing in it), but most use some variation of cream/milk and sugar/sweetner.The tree house plan sounds awesome. Hope the school year starts smoothly. We’re starting week 2 today.

  5. Claire

    Black or with milk – I always had it with a splash of thin milk. It’s just nothing compared to the thick deliciousness of my coffee these days.

  6. lea

    cream to coffee is like peanut butter to jam. both of which somewhat still scandalize my australian mother-in-law.

  7. Cassandra

    That first photo with the sun streaming through and the girls engaged in a Summertime tea-party is the stuff dreams are made of! Carved permanently into their fondest childhood memories already, no doubt about it.

  8. MeganK

    That treehouse is just stunning and so dreamy-looking with the sheets. I would so love to have something like this for my girls… maybe perched up in a grove of palm trees? giving me some ideas.

  9. Kirsty

    Your dad is an absolute gem. I wonder if he’d like to adopt a Melbourne daughter for the remaining 9 months of the year? I’m kind of keen on your mum too & would be very happy to have a package deal!I can’t tell you how ridiculously thrilling it is to see your posts mate & to read all about the loveliness that is your new life. Also pleased to see the return of the “extra thing”. Completely love that feature. Just giant amounts of love to you all. xxx

  10. CAth

    You were soooo missed. Please don’t stop blogging…even if we only ever get titbits.

  11. Rosey

    I love reading your blog, so fuzzy to see the posts start up again 😀 I order creamed coffee as a treat – a black vienna coffee everytime I go to Dome (other cafes don’t seem to offer it). Along with the yummy indulgence of thick creamery, I love scooping the cream and watching it melt into the hot black coffee.

  12. Penelope@thirdroomstudio

    Soooo wonderful to see you back to blogging! I hope you stay around a while! The tree house is amazing, what a wonderful, handy father you have. As far as I have ever known, no one here (Aust) has cream in their coffee, I can’t even imagine it – though when in Rome…

  13. Michelle

    Lovely to see your posts again! That tree house is the bomb. Lucky kids.We used to drink Vienna coffee when “out” when I was a kid in the 70s and 80s. Mum still adds whipped cream to our coffees if she has some in the fridge. Coffee without it is rather boring.

  14. Anja

    I have treehouse envy! Sadly, our trees are apple trees and not tall or sturdy enough to bear the weight of a house. One can wish…Also, Norwegians do take their coffee with cream, but it’s mostly the older generations 🙂

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