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Sunday, 21 August 2022

Fairy doors and other encounters

A long time ago, long enough that I've forgotten where I wrote about it, when I first started going out and exploring the outside world as Susie back around 2016/17, one of my walks led me down a side path off the canal towards one of the neighbouring villages. Almost the first thing I noticed when not keeping a wary eye for other people on the path was that a number of the trees along the path were adorned with tiny wooden doors and houses. There was even a sign hanging in one showing "This Way to Fairyland ->".

(I've grown a lot more confident about meeting other people when I'm out and now it's something I look forward to, otherwise walks can feel a bit lonely. This morning I lost count after exchanging about a dozen 'good mornings' and stopping to fuss several friendly dogs. I wonder if it's the walks I now I look forward to more, or the small social interactions as Susie, as a sort of validation/reassurance that I'm not seen as the terrible ogre the Tory right wing would like you to believe.)

The Fairyland sign is no longer there as far as I could tell when, on a whim, I decided to explore that path again this morning. But the little fairy doors and houses are still in the trees. In fact there seem to be more than I remember. Some of the additions, like the little wooden boat floating in the creek, were even more surreal.

Wiki has an entry for Fairy Door, and it seems to be something that started around 2015/2015 both in the US and in part of the UK (though it also warns of the harm that can be done nailing or gluing things on trees).  But it's an odd little form of rural art, or whimsy, a bit like the trend for decorating street furniture in towns (knitted hats on post-boxes, or scarves for lampposts). It's also rather charming.




  1. There's a few round our way as well. Although they seem to be more in the village and marked as Elf Doors. Cue various puns on the word elf, but I guess very similar.

    I think there's now competition from Hedgehog Doors to put actual gaps in garden fences.

    PS: nice outfit.

  2. Sparkly shoes - and, in homage to Joanna, pink and blue socks. The leggings were bit of a last minute decision over yesterday's floaty skirt but I was glad of them when I ventured into the undergrowth a few times in search of blackberries.
    I had a picture - now safely deleted I hope - of me picking blackberries in a less suitable outfit last week. I really hadn't realised that dress was so short. It's a wonder I wasn't catcalled from a passing van.
    I'm also curious about the habit of hanging spoons and other items of cutlery in trees, which I've seem once or twice in churchyards.

    1. *squees in such a high pitch, some dogs die*

      Thank you for the homage - love a good pair of socks! And yes, blackberry picking in a dress is quite an ordeal. I tried walking a long way through woods in a dress back in March and... well, I shan't be trying to pick blackberries in one any time soon! My problem was the opposite of a short skirt though. :)

  3. Cool post, great photos. and nice outfit too. I'm a big fan of Fairy/Elf Doors and when they're placed in the right spot they can look really good. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice contemporary outfit, practical and authentic. I like a TGirl who blends in.
    I looked at the wiki entry on Fairy Doors and this quirk is obviously now a thing. I think it's rather sweet. But worrying about the slight damage to trees is perhaps excessive (should I say "it's elf and safety gone mad"? arf arf!)
    Sue x

    1. Dressing down is the new dressing up. Certainly when I'm out and about in the mornings. It helps to check what other women tend to be wearing on those occasions, which is usually jeans or leggings or else jogging/running outfits (not sporty enough to carry that one off).

  5. "...curious about the habit of hanging spoons and other items of cutlery in trees..."

    That seems new - or at least it's not a thing here. Ribbons or strips of cloth tied to a tree's branches seem a thing here.

    As a teen on holiday, I think we stopped at a Wishing Tree. This was where folk would tie a ribbon or strip of cloth to the branches. There was a spring underneath. This was up in Scotland.

  6. Sorry, I have nothing but fluff to add: what a charming and beautiful idea for decoration of green and tree-ful places. And some excellent photos of your good self, Susie! In particular, I love your pendant!

  7. Thank you. It's a little head of Buddha I found in a box which I think dates from my Uni days.

  8. Love your outfit, I am not confident with venturing out in leggings.

    They have put some effort into those doors, the bay window one is very amusing.