There were two ways to climb our tree: the front way and the back way. When I was young I found it easier to use the front way, as some elder boys had kindly knocked some long nails into the tree. If you were new to our street you were instructed exactly how to climb our tree. The instructions were like this: “Put your right foot on the lowest nail, grasp the third nail with your left hand and put your right hand in the fork of the first branches. Now pull, and put your left foot on the second nail.” Next there was a complicated turn and you were sitting in the fork of the tree. From here it was easy; you just climbed where you wanted; but only the braver ones ventured over to the right hand side of the tree because there were fewer branches here.
It felt wonderful to climb higher and higher and look down to the road below; especially on windy days when the tree swayed from side to side. Then you could pretend you were in a ship. Brian was always the captain. But now the tree and Brian have gone; Brian to a better place. The tree, who knows where?