Tuesday, 28 January 2014

In praise of sheds

Shed Men by Gareth Jones is available on Amazon
One of the things I love about our house is that it has a shed. When I was a child my dad built a shed in our back garden out of bits of old wardrobe and other stuff he found. Not surprisingly it wasn't a very robust shed. It was full of almost empty paint tins, brushes and bits of old wood – enough stuff for me, as a 10-year-old, to spend a happy afternoon building a doll's bed and then painting it pale blue (that being the only colour we had).

Our shed sort of leant against the garage that dad had also built himself and that used to leak quite badly. My brother chalked the winning score of England 4 – West Germany 2, 1966 on one of the lintels that supported the garage roof. Since England has never won the World Cup again my brother has been denied the opportunity to chalk up another winning score in his own garage.

When I moved into my flat in Brixton the thing I was probably most excited about was that it had an airing cupboard in the kitchen. I think an airing cupboard can also serve as a shed in the sense you can store stuff in it you seldom use. Obviously it's no good for skulking in and watching test cricket on the tv as they are generally too small.

As Gareth Jones says in his introduction to Shed Men: "A shed in its most typical form is a simple, outdoor structure comprising roof, walls and an entrance of some sort." He continues: "Sheddism is a movement which has adopted the shed as a construct or metaphor for the personal, creative space it contains – that is, everything from a scientist's robot to a bloke's model railway."

Our author very sensibly tips his hat to us ladies acknowledging the fact that we are also getting in on the shed action ourselves. We have a friend who invested time and money into a nice looking shed/office that looked like it had been borrowed from the Sound of Music and included a wood burning stove. My mother-in-law used to have a summer house that was big enough to live in and had double glazing. Last year I enjoyed a conversation with an artist who told me she has a studio/shed in her garden that's about 5 x 3 metres in size  where she practices her craft. That caused my mind to boggle a bit because that is roughly the size of our wee garden.

I am happy with the shed we have which is really a large cupboard that joins onto the side of the house and has its own outside door with its own key. It houses the boiler, the garden parasol, the umbrella shaped washing line, our walking boots and general clutter. It's not big enough for a chair and a tv. For that we have to go indoors.

Inside our shed

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love love love the writing, and the drawing! Marta