Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shed Love

Karen and I spent the Bank Holiday clearing out the garden shed; an onerous task that we’ve been putting off for ooh about a year. Ever since we bought the old homestead in fact.

To fill you in: Karen and I rented our house for about 2 years before buying it (not a long story, just a boring one so I’m going to gloss over it) – the upshot being that there were parts of the shed from which we were denied access by our then landlord (yes our shed actually has 2 rooms inside it). This wasn’t a problem. We just figured it was full of personal stuff – homemade porno, the odd manacle, perhaps the entrance to a hidden dungeon – and therefore left well alone. We bought our own gardening equipment and stored it in the portion of the shed that we could use and that was that.

Quite literally in fact. I have to say our gardening equipment hasn’t seen much action since we bought it (about the same amount as Prince William in fact) but that’s the subject for another post.

Anyway, a year after buying the place lock, stock and dungeon we finally got round to clearing out both sides of the shed to fully appraise ourselves of what we now own.

No homemade porno. No dungeon entrance.

Just loads of gardening equipment, including a complete lawnmower. Basically duplicating what we’d already bought ourselves which is rather galling but hey, at least our stuff is brand new as opposed to pre-1985. We also found we were now the proud owners of several large tubs of paint, several rolls of wallpaper, 15 panes of glass (which we shall sell on eBay) and a rather large bumble bee.

The bee seems to have set up home in a plastic bag which contained of all things a woollen Christmas stocking – the kind used for hiding presents in as opposed to naughty lady’s leggies – and was determined not to be moved. Even after the bag and stocking were removed the bee kept returning resolutely to the shed hoping to find it. It was quite affecting in a mildly impinging way.

Bees aside the task is at last complete. We’ve kept the good stuff and freed up so much space in the shed that getting access to the tools is no longer a problem. This bodes well for garden based DIY type activity this summer.

And we’ve amassed a huge pile of junk and detritus in the garden that Sir Ranulph Fiennes would be honoured to climb. This bodes well for several laborious journeys to the local tip.

None of which is terribly exciting but I was moved to record it here by Inchy’s recent post about garden sheds... and I felt the need to join in. Sheds are traditionally a bit of a man thing but I know that several humans of a feminine persuasion are also into sheds, my wife included.

There is something ineffably great about owning a shed. A garden with a shed is like a Bugatti whereas a garden without one is like a... a... well, the crap car of your choice basically.

I’ve got a shed with 2 separate rooms in it. 0 to 90 in 8 seconds, dudes. Vroom vroom. They're getting a hospital bed ready for Richard Hammond even as I type...

18 comments:

-eve- said...

Hmm... this was quite exciting... veritably a treasure trove in that shed! Felt a twinge of regret about the lawnmower and you having had to buy another set of gardening equipment, just 'cos the landownwer was mean... :-)

Steve said...

Hi Eve, he wasn't exactly mean... at the time we were only renting on a 12 month contract and the "landlord" was actually an executor for the true house owner who was ill in a nursing home... hence the other equipment didn't really belong to him either... all sorted now though and we ended up getting a very good deal on the house so buying an unnecessary lawnmower was, I suppose, a small price to pay!

Anonymous said...

'Bee’s aside the task is at last complete' - arghh, a rogue apostophe!

Daisy said...

my first month long trip to ireland, my husband decided to completely revamp the shed...i think the motive was a friend of mine who requests shed placement upon a stay...alas that friend has never made it to the shed...but it is really nice now...lmao

The Sagittarian said...

There has been a book opublished over here called Men in Sheds, its worth a laugh or two. Kiwi blokes and their sheds is quite a common thing here probably elsewhere too. Its a fair system - you boys get the shed and we get the house!
The Stud hasn't got a shed but he does have a hot house for pottering in (geddit??) and is quite happy in his man-planet. Its been too cold lately for him to go out there tho dammit!! Good post, let's see some pix of Ralph when he attempts to mount your er backyard...toss in a few trolley-dollies and I'm sure he will accept the invitation!

Matthew Rudd said...

No room for a shed at mine, and given my utter uselessness at anything practical, having a place to store stuff that would be used either a) badly; or b) never; would be such a waste of money and space.

The lawnmower is in the garage, along with the dogs and the tumble drier.

Steve said...

Anonymous, no idea how that got in there... I shall endeavour to remove it immediately and thats (sic) a promise! ;-)

Daisy, you have a friend who requests shed placement? Wow. That's true devotion to the world of sheds!

Amanda, funnily enough my wife and all the girls at work are of the same opnion: women get the house and men get the shed. An arranegment which most men are happy with: we'll clean the shed (5 minutes brushing tables and surfaces with the palms of our hands) and you can clean the house... several hours with dusters, vacuum cleaners, polish and elbow grease. All's fair in shed and war.

Matthew, "The lawnmower is in the garage, along with the dogs and the tumble drier" - how do the dogs feel about being lumped in with the cast-offs?!

Rol said...

You bought Prince William? Did he come with the house, or was it a separate transaction?

Steve said...

We won him in a tombola. Personally I was hoping for a teasmade.

Inchy said...

Welcome Steve.
I bestow upon you the honorary title of Sheddi Knight (Leamington Spa division.)

The Farce will be with you...always.

Steve said...

I've got a bad feeling about this...

Reluctant Blogger said...

Wow, that's some shed! Not that I am into Shed Envy (well, maybe a tad). My shed is quite small - a one roomed affair - and full of spiders. I rarely go in there, just grab the lawnmower and beat a hasty retreat.

You could probably sell everything from the shed on Ebay. People will buy anything if they think they are getting a bargain. You just don't call things "old" you say "vintage lawnmower" etc and they'll be flocking to buy the thing.

Steve said...

Hi Gina, sage advice indeed! Mind you, I'm not sure what type of person would want to pay good money for a "vintage hoe" or a "vintage off-cut of carpet"... but you never know! Any takers anyone? I'll throw in a mouldy, sorry vintage tub of paint for free!

TimeWarden said...

We had a wasps nest in the wall of the house, several years back, which we knew nothing about until they invaded my study and they were a bugger to get rid of. They ruined some of my "Doctor Who" books, too! So, I can look upon your bee philosophically!!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Very good for storing bicycles in too. I guess you can junk the 80's stuff that was left behind though.

Mystery why your former landlord was so possessive of it!

Steve said...

Hi TimeWarden, wow, I knew wasps were quite destructive to brick work but had no idea they had a taste for Doctor Who paraphenalia too!

Hi Laura, to be fair to our old landlord - he was a very decent chap and was actually an executor to the real owner of the house who was ill in a nursing home. I guess he was trying to fulfil his duties to us as tenants and to his employer as their executor. Until we bought the house the tools didn't belong to us so we had no right to access them.

Flaming Nora said...

Life without a shed is a life half-lived. I hope you'll all be very happy.

Steve said...

Nora, me and the shed and are always happy. We've got life sussed.