The playhouse in the boggy corner of our garden is looking a little worse for wear. Clearly plywood and larch lap are not materials that were designed to last forever, but I find it's demise somewhat depressing.
It seems to signify somehow that the children are no longer little ones. A fact borne out by them really being too big to clamber up the ladder inside onto the mezzanine floor.
Mezzanine - that makes it sound rather grand, which couldn't be further from the truth. Honestly, it is nothing much more than a slightly neglected home to the detritus of summers past - sandpit toys, diggers and dump trucks, plastic bowling pins and balls of all different shapes and sizes. From those summers where the back garden was an exciting place to be with much potential for play and adventure.
And I'm feeling nostalgic at the thought that this summer will probably be different. Even the smaller child's domain extends far far beyond the confines of our fence-line. The apparatus for happy hours spent just outside the back door, seem to have become an anachronism.
Yesterday, I sat down outside to make a little tribute to the world beyond the back garden. A wired mobile of driftwood, collected up on a faraway trip. And then the small garden miracle arrived in the form of a child who emerged from the house wanting to help and insisting that it be hung for us all to enjoy from the eaves of the old playhouse.
I realize it's not quite David Nash. But a reminder that the wide world outside our own back gardens and the people to be found in it are a gift to be savoured long after we return home.