Friday, July 30, 2010

A man and his shed is a beautiful thing

Boy, am I glad I splashed out and bought those leopard skin wellies. It has poured all week and has had me stomping through puddles in a thoroughly bad mood. The dog, who is likewise a fair weather creature, has taken to leaping out of the car for his run at the beach, only to shake himself in disbelief at the tropical downpour before he rushes round the car to sit piteously by the boot.

However Husband is now in high good humour as he is that most fortunate of men, the possessor of not one, but two garden sheds. It is difficult to overestimate the happiness of a man let loose in Bunnings (the hardware superstore chain) when he has a new shed to kit out. He now has the luxury of moving all the stuff, and stuff is the politest word I can think of, for that particular collection, into the new shed before setting about the old shed with a sledgehammer (in his dreams he is a demolition man). I suspect most of the shed contents moved here from the US five years ago and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of them can track their provenance to London in 2002.

We had guests to stay at short notice last week which entailed a panic clearance of the guest bedroom. I realised the room had become the indoor equivalent of the shed; a general dumping ground for things too difficult to think about/classify. The muck out revealed an interesting snapshot of family life including a variety of sporting equipment from mouth guards to hockey sticks and enough ski helmets to kit out a junior race team – I don’t know why I am keeping all the old ones, I question whether any of the Drama Queens’ heads are likely to shrink during their teenage years. I also had to shift out all my trashy novels that I stash there as part of my vain, in every sense of the word, attempt to keep up an intellectual front to the world. Other gems removed, and bear in mind we are not talking about a large room here, included a case of wine that Husband absentmindedly cellared there and the builders’ cache of spare tiles left over from the bathroom renovation. The good news is of course that now the guests have departed, all the debris of normal life has swiftly shifted back – the trick I find , is just to keep the door firmly closed.

I am slightly concerned by the way Husband is contemplating how many fold up chairs he can fit in the new shed – with a plasma tv on the wish list too I suspect. Apart from anything else it is such a small shed that he is going to have to be on intimate terms with any guests. I was pondering the role of a shed in a man’s life, particularly a man with three teenage daughters and remembered that there is in fact an Australian organisation called The Australian Men’s Shed Association which promotes community sheds where men can gather, work together, bond and do manly things – in my mind I am thinking of this as the male equivalent of the female book group and I think it is a great concept.

Speaking personally, kitting out sheds leaves me somewhat cold, but lead me to a stationery shop and I’m in heaven. I am a complete sucker for those weekly menu planners and ‘To do” lists, there is something about the pristine newness of them that convinces me that I will reform and my life will become a model of organisation. I have just discovered Kikki K, a stylish Swedish stationary store in Sydney (hand the woman a prize for alliteration) which I can see is going to have a key role in the organisational transformation – I am saving a visit as a treat for myself and once I buy that gleaming “To do” pad I will write upon it in big bold letters “Tackle Guest Bedroom” – and won’t I feel good.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! I am such a list maker and I am convinced that if I just find the "right" day planner than I will suddenly find nirvana and ascend with the enlightened ;)