Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sailing off to the Land of Nod

Last week, I happened upon this photo story about a 'Pirate Ship' treehouse that's been built in the bedroom of the 6-year-old son of someone... with oodles of spare cash, I must suppose. The ship is entered via a rope bridge, and can be exited via a 'secret' spiral tube slide down to the ground floor of the house. A nice piece of work by designer Steve Kuhl.

Not for the first time, I reflect that Youth is wasted on the young.  It wouldn't at all surprise me to hear that the spoiled young master is soon having nightmares about the hordes of bloodthirsty pirates and slimy sea-monsters crawling up that tube to invade his bedroom at night, and demanding to have the structure removed.  Me, on the other hand - I'd love something like that. What man wouldn't? It would make a great den - with a small bar, a big TV, a games console, a hi-fi. Oh yes - sweet dreams.

I can't help being unpleasantly reminded, though, that I did once really live in such a structure - albeit only for a few months. During my desperate days at the back end of the '90s, I found myself for a while living in bedsitterland in south London. The first room I had to take was nought but a prefabricated shack built on to the kitchen. The narrow space and wood-plank walls seemed a pleasant novelty - even 'cosy' - at first, but I soon discovered that the place was bitterly cold through the winter months, and I would occasionally wake up shivering despite having gone to bed wearing a tracksuit and a sweater. One night, the glass of water at my bedside actually froze. Moreover, the sense of being cooped up beneath the foc'sle of an old tea clipper was unpleasantly intensified by the narrow and rickety cot bed I had to sleep on, with its ridiculously bouncy foam mattress that simulated rather too convincingly the pitching and rolling of a ship in a light swell. I was able to upgrade to a room inside the house after two or three months. That spell in the 'ship's cabin' garden shed was definitely one of the least pleasant periods in my life.

I am also reminded that JES did one of his music posts on 'The Land of Nod' a while back - part of Natalie Merchant's Leave Your Sleep project, setting lullabies and nursery rhymes to music.

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