I am not a very good climber. I have no head for heights, and can fall off a chair as my mother used to say. But here I am at the foot of the enchanted tree with all manner of strange beings above me and somehow, from somewhere, I must find the courage to start my ascent.

saucepan man

Saucepan Man

Lands at the Top of the Faraway Tree

Once upon a time there were three children named Jo, Fanny and Bessie. They lived with their mother and father in a little cottage in the countryside. Behind their cottage was a ditch, and beyond this was a mysterious forest known as the Enchanted Wood.

One day the children decided to go exploring in the Enchanted Wood.

“If you are good children and finish all your chores this morning I shall give you the afternoon to have a picnic in the woods,” said Mummy.

So Jo worked hard in the garden that morning while the girls helped Mummy with the housework. When they finished, Mummy gave Bessie a little basket which contained sandwiches, cake and milk for lunch and said they could go. The children set off for the Enchanted Wood in a great state of excitement. They jumped over the little ditch and into the woods and stood still for a moment, taking in everything. Although it was a lovely summer day, the trees stood so close together that only a glimmer of sunlight filtered through the dark green canopy, making the woods seem dim and more mysterious than ever.

‘Wisha wisha wisha,’ whispered the trees and the children felt sure there was magic in the air. With Bessie carrying the basket, they skipped merrily down a little path and followed it into the heart of the woods.

The Magic Faraway Tree is listed as one of the classic favourite children's stories and has been read, joyously, for decades. A group of travellers are staying in Riversleigh Manor, which is close to the cottage that Jo, Bessie and Fanny lived in with their mother. Over coming months we are going to have an adventure and find the tree and visit lands above it. The project will culminate in the production of an Advent-URE calendar in December 2006.

Travellers in Lemuria found a Magic Faraway Tree in the Golden Seed Grove that leads to many fascinating lands. Perhaps the most original take on the tree was Nightfall by Anita Marie Moscoso. Few travellers desire to meet Mr Nightfall up that tree.

One thing is certain! Climb the Faraway Tree and people like Silky, the Angry Pixie, Moonface, Saucepan Man and Changealot will make sure you have a very Grand Tour of the worlds on show.

Faraway Tree Fridge Collection

angry pixie

The Angry Pixie

faraway tree

The Faraway Tree


Silky At Home


The Angry Pixie

Was It An Illusion

I climbed the Farawy Tree, up through the branches until I reached a land of dreams.

Last night,
through my window
I saw a cat,
a cat wearing a wizard’s hat.

Now this cat
wearing a wizard’s hat
was in the shadow
of an old and weathered fence,

it was there,
of that I’m sure,
a tabby,
white of throat,

but with that hat,
could I have seen
a wizard in disguise,
or could it have been
just a dream?

The hat was tall,
black, and pointed
with heavenly bodies painted on it,
half moons and planets with rings around them.

Or perhaps it was a witch I saw,
a kindly witch,
or was it just a tabby
white of throat?

Could it be the hat I saw
was nothing more
than a shadow
cast by that old and weathered fence,
and the cat … nothing more than illusion?

Vi Jones
©January 31, 2006

Grand Tour

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Grand Lemurian Tour

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Week Nine

Up the Faraway Tree


Dame Washalot by Heather Blakey

Rub a dub
three travellers in a tub
Dame Washalot ready to scrub

Dame Washalot is waiting at the bottom of the Faraway Tree, sleeved rolled up, bucket of water from the Blind Springs, ready to scrub away inhibitions and preconceived notions. Are you ready?

Describe your first meeting with the Dame of the Faraway Tree.

Wash Away

The timing is perfect for this new venture of scrubbing and sloughing away what is no longer useful. With the new year beckoning, and all, it seems frivolous to dwell on the old crusty stuff. Well, they are old, aren't they, my thoughts that seem to want attention and airtime. Some of my thoughts have been so old of late they have surprised me, popping up out of nowhere, waiting to see if I still want them. Well, wash and scrub away, what is useless to me, I say. Some things are worth letting go, and that which is left can remain to become new and full of promise. Often at this time of year I discard and sort, and the same thing can apply to old ways of thinking. So let the soap dissolve old muddy ways and petty annoyances, let the salt water clear the debris away, let the perfume clear the mind of clutter and take it to another place. I watched a film tonight that was so full of ancient ways and damaging "cause and effect" that it forced my decision further to let go of old things, wishing the world would too. Seen on film, they are vivid and appalling, and may be burned into the memory as being totally useless customs and old superstitions and behaviours. Free then, I am, to respond and think differently, not marred by useless convention.

by Monika Roleff

Rub a dub dub

``What’s a washing tub?” One of my grandchildren asked, when I was making my miniature caravan. The question made me smile, for the old fashioned galvanised washing tub hasn’t been seen for many years. I showed her the miniature tub I had painted to look like tin and the tiny scrubbing board that went with it. I told her how my mother and grandmothers had used these to do their laundry, and pointed out that the washing tub was just big enough for a small child. ``You had a bath in it?” She asked, wide eyed.

Rub a dub dub
In the big tin tub
That hung on the wall with a rope.
Rub a dub dub
Having a scrub
With Wright’s coal tar soap.

The soap had a strong antiseptic smell that permeated everything. There is no cleaner smell in the world. I was soaped all over with the yellow suds, from my hair to my toes, then was rinsed off with jugs of water – the bathwater at first, then clean rinse water.

Rub a dub tub
In the big tin tub

In Grandmother’s Kitchen.
Rub a dub dub
Having a scrub
The flames in the fireplace twitching.

When I stayed with my English Grandmother, I was bathed in her dim scullery down the stairs. The only lights were from a tiny gas flame high on the walls and the flickering flames of the scullery fire. It was warm and cosy down there with no draughts to give me a chill. Grandmother had a big fluffy towel to wrap me in at the end and I dried off in front of the fire.

Rub a dub dub
In the big tin tub
Like a child in Dame Washalot’s hands.
Rub a dub dub
Having a scrub
Time falls away like hourglass sands.

Dame Washalot’s strong, competent hands remind me of my Grandmother. She hums as she rubs the soap into me with a coarse piece of flannel, works the suds into my hair with determined fingers, then rinses and rinses until she is satisfied that I am pink and new. How many years has she washed away? Too many to count. As she wraps the big warm towel around me I realise she has grown taller – or maybe I have grown smaller. I look into the washtub, filled with the cares of the years, the learned responses and expectations I have carried with me for so long. One by one, like bubbles, they pop and disappear.

Rub a dub dub
In the big tin tub
All my troubles are washed right away.
Rub a dub dub
I’ve had my scrub
Now I’m ready to go out and play.

by Gail Kavanagh

Washed by the Dame

Dame and I by faucon of Sakin'el
Ritual Cleanse by Luna Eternally
The Dame by Jan Kricker
Surpise Surprise by Leonie Bryant
Baptism by Megan Warren
Soap by faucon of Sakin'el

Some More Adventures

Silky Visits The Abbey 

Silky Visits The Abbey by Heather Blakey

Moonface - The Cresent Moon
The Land of Chinese New Year
The Land of Spells and Enchantments
The Land of Dreams

Jump the Ditch

Jump the ditch and explore the Enchanted Wood. Accept Silky's invitation and climb the tree. Explore the tree, meet the characters who live here and take the opportunity to climb the ladder and enter one of the lands at the top of the tree.