Once upon a time (in 2012), in a magical land far, far away (Andover), I built a high ropes course, called Treerunners (like GoApe only better) and after two years of the steepest learning curve and a largely successful start, I thought I’d sorted out life. My own Boss, my own staff, working in a forest, with a dog I took to work every day. Then on Christmas eve in 2014, a storm blew it all down.
We made the BBC news, frontpage of the Hampshire Chronicle and every high ropes course around the world knew this photo. As an advertising campaign it was brilliant. We were famous. Trouble was, we had no high ropes course.
The following year I built another one, in big strong oak trees (rather than pines that blow down), and using an old barn, a tipi and a load of sofas from ebay, I created the coolest place to spend a day with your family.
So cool in fact, that we also started hiring out the place for parties and festivals. This was much more fun, and finally I thought being blown down was the best thing that had ever happened to us.
Then in March 2020, just after we had spent £40k setting up for the start of the new season, COVID closed us down again.
Thankfully though, with the forest being closed, I had the opportunity to do some useful things. I grew a beard, tried to learn Bridge…and started building, and, like an ugly duckling turning into a swan, we emerged from Covid as a wedding venue. A jaw droppingly beautiful wedding venue.
So here I am, once more, after another battle against disaster. With a wedding venue, a beard and a second dog called Chunky…