The Cottage Smallholder

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The swing seat

swing seatSeveral years ago I decided to tempt Danny to spend more time in the garden. He wasn’t turning brown the way the rest of us do as the summer progresses. The face that smiled from behind the computer screen in The Rat Room was pale and pinched. He needed fresh air and a dose of vitamin D.

I decided to buy him a swing seat for his birthday. I knew that he wouldn’t want a flimsy two-seater. It had to be long enough for D and the Min Pins to stretch out on. With a decent frame, soft cushions and the promise of many lolling years.

I had a thick wad of vouchers from Homebase and a lot of patience. Eventually, the perfect swing seat was on sale. I wasn’t drawn to the cushion covers but the price was a perky £199 (originally £299). I waited another week and the price was slashed again to £169.

With my loyalty vouchers, the deluxe adult cradle would cost me just over 60 quid. Jalopy and I whizzed into Newmarket and ordered the beast.

Deep down inside everyone is the love of swing seats. It may be a half forgotten memory of ten minutes spent curled up on one as the Grown Ups discussed the lawn, politics and the route to Basingstoke via the A456.

Or a swing seat discovered in a secret sunny spot in the garden belonging to your parents’ best friends. You know the ones. They always had older children that endlessly quoted facts from the Encyclopedia Britannica and wore grey shorts. There is nothing like the salve of a few minutes spent beneath the canopy of a decent swing seat.

Although I was confident that Danny would love the swing seat, I hadn’t considered the horrors of a construct your own sort of present.

Being sturdy, the monster refused to bend into the right positions. After a terrible day battling with it, he flung himself onto the cushions and announced,
“I am going to sleep here tonight.”
We had fallen out over the leverage needed to make the nuts secure.

The canopy guaranteed that he would not wake up freshened with dew. As far as I can remember he spent many nights on the swing seat that summer. It was his own space, after all. And I enjoyed greeting him in the morning so much so that when he complained that it was getting chilly sleeping under just an acrylic blanket I found him a goose down duvet for the next night in a matter of minutes.

A couple of weeks ago I felt exhausted and momentarily miffed that everyone seemed to be going on holiday except us. I discovered the cushions on the spare bed and set up the swing seat for the summer. That afternoon I lay on the swing seat for hours and took an instant holiday without a single surcharge.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Julie,

    We love our swing seat. Thanks for leaving a comment, glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Julie Cade

    Great piece about a summer essential. I have good memories of my relatives’ front porch swings in the American South. To stir the oppressively hot and humid air, I had to occasionally touch my foot to the floor to keep swinging. It was the only way, other than use one of those hand-held, hand-powered paper fans (provided always as an advertising vehicle by the local mortuary), to keep the air moving. Thanks for bringing back sweet recollections of childhood!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sara,

    It is a wonderful place to relax. People always fight over who is going to sit on it when we have a party.

    Hi Celia,

    Our dogs love it once they have got used to the rocking motion but they tend not to sit on it without us. They are sun worshippers.

  4. That’s a good addition to a garden – but I suspect our cats and hens would think so too!!!!

  5. farmingfriends

    The swing looks so relaxing. Who could resist lying on that swing looking at you beautiful garden.
    Sara from farmingfriends

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Cooking Ninja,

    The great thing about the swing seat is that, under the canopy you can easily see the screen of a laptop. So D sometimes works on the swing seat.

    However D prefers sitting in the Rat Room, where it is quiet and he is not disturbed. It is hard to prise him away from the screen!

  7. The Cooking Ninja

    what a heartwarmthing story. Your Danny sounds very much like my other half. His mom is forever trying to get him to go out and have some sort of activities besides sitting in front of the screen without any success. I did managed however to get him away from the screen but it was no easy task. Like your Danny, my other half is very fair.

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