Many years ago we were fortunate enough to be able to purchase a large hut, second hand. It had been used as the lounge for single mums and their children but that need was no longer there . So we paid £50, hauled it across town, and invited all our friends to a "Barn Raising".
Alan prepared the foundations and built up a wall of two bricks high to support the wooden structure.
I prepared a lot of food and cake goodies to keep the energies going!
Over the years the hut..now more grandly called "The Summer House".. has been filled with discarded chairs and cushions and charity shop crotcheted blankets. It was a favourite den for our two children growing up and now is the same for the grand children when they gather here.
Dinners were served in it for friends from far and near.
Parties held for special birthday and once it was decorated to look like Tolstoy's Dacha, in honour of our literary friends from Italy.
We keep a bag of Indian fabrics in it and when all five get together out comes the bag and the contents are scattered on the grass and theatre begins!
So for my Christmas Present this year, Alan informed me that he was going to renovate the building, and add a ceiling under the roof which will keep it warmer and we may use it in the winter months as well as summer.
There's no electricity, no phone, no water. just peace and quiet.
I wouldn't like it to become too clean and tidy. I might feel obliged to do something while sitting there! But for my present to him, I shall renew the little curtains and repaint the furniture a bit.
I watched the programme on Silence [BBC] this weekend . The summer House is where I find that in our busy lives.
It's so well made I suppose it will last another 30 years and I may not be there to see that. But maybe the children will.