The Joy of Forts

Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 01.14.17Words and Fort by Billie Jenkins

I personally don’t date any man who doesn’t pass ‘the fort test’. It may sound shrewd to interpret my future happiness on a mans compliance with building a small room inside a larger one, but the joy of forts is not something to be underestimated. When I was younger, like all kids I would punch windows through cardboard boxes, sit inside and call them a house. I would stick bamboo in the ground, wrap it in blankets and play chief. There are photographs of these bizarre structures I created over the years, some of these show my Dad helping me build them, and guess what? He looks like he’s having as good a time as four year old me. Being a grown up undermines many childhood practices, clowns become a source of terror, parties take place in vodka revs, even play has become synonymous with sex thanks to Ann Summers, but Forts are an art that should not be lost to the wayside of teenage angst.

Every day ten of thousands of us head to hotels, and whilst most go for business or travel, a small, fortunate few go because they know the pleasure of whiling away some hours in a sanctuary away from home. It could be said the only difference between this and a homemade fort is the price tag. There is a skill to the perfect fort, especially the adult variety which requires something a little extra than a lop-sided cushion structure. Experience has taught me the three most important qualities are comfort, lighting and tempreture. The third seems trivial, but even the most beautiful creation can turn into a sauna worthy of David Lloyd under the weight of some heavy knit and a lack of breeze. Saying that the best nap I ever had was in a fort that fell short in that area, lulling into a sleep in the hot, heavy air like a fevered jungle traveller. You can go to the best bars in the world, sleep with the most beautiful landscapes through the windows, but the warm sactuary of a fort can provide a surreal bubble away from the world for the price of a pair of curtains.


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