Robertson's fallen tree | February 20

For generations, I believe, the village children have climbed a tall pine tree which leant over the water at the creek at my home.

They had installed a rope from which they swung and dangled before hurling themselves into the water.

Their joyous screams, followed by almighty splashes echoed across the neighbourhood, sometimes accompanied by the f-word!

Its slightly hazardous of course, and has given me some anxiety for the kids’ safety.

However, since they usually arrive in groups, (the Robertson Swimming Club I call them), wearing swimming togs and with towels neatly rolled up under their arms, and with even the occasional surf board, I am sure that their parents know what they are up to.

They are asked to keep the noise and the litter down, and by and large they do their best, but its difficult to be quiet when having so much fun.

One day a large, heavy table appeared upturned in the middle of the creek. Goodness only knows how they got it there!

I asked some of the older boys to remove it, which they kindly did, with some difficulty. So that was good.

Looking out of my window a couple of days later, there was a large, heavy table upturned in the middle of the creek again.

I asked the next lot of swimmers (who were somewhat smaller boys) if they would mind removing it.

Watching their brave attempts to heave this monster out of the water was quite heart-rending, necessitating me driving around the village (as I could not reach them without a boat) to give them a hand.

The boys were courteous if slightly defensive as they knew they were trespassing. Together we managed to get the monster out of the creek again, and thankfully, although it is still in the vicinity, it remains in dry dock.

Just lately, “The Swimming Club” had taken to climbing higher into the tree, and doing what I believe is called “bombing” into the water.

This has had me very worried as I felt it was too dangerous and I asked them not to do it. I have been wondering how I could “police” this behaviour when providence came to the rescue.

We had two days of torrential rain, and when I looked next out of my window, the childrens’ fun tree had been uprooted and had fallen across the creek.

I awaited the next arrival of the Robertson Swimming Club with more than a little interest.

There was an awed silence when they came next for a Tarzan adventure. They quietly studied the tree, marveled at the size of it roots now ungainly mid-air, and attempted walking its trunk like a tightrope across Niagara. All was very quiet. A little later I noticed something else, the children had planted a cross for the tree, and today I noticed it is surrounded with flowers.

END OF ERA: RIP 2017 is written on the little wooden cross Robertson children have placed in front of their fallen tree. It is encircled by the rope that gave them such delight. Photo: Michelle Thomas

END OF ERA: RIP 2017 is written on the little wooden cross Robertson children have placed in front of their fallen tree. It is encircled by the rope that gave them such delight. Photo: Michelle Thomas

I am sorry kids, that you have lost your tree, I know I nagged you about the noise and language but I was always actually pleased to see you enjoying yourselves. Soon hopefully the Robertson Swimming Pool will be ready for you. I hope you have just as much fun there, and that you take care of yourselves and keep safe.

Best wishes from the Grannie who lives by the creek.

 – Janet Waterlow

  • This first appeared as a Facebook post in Robertson Commons community group.