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I wish I had a shed. A place at the bottom of the garden, a retreat.

Difficult though, to have a shed, when you live in a second floor flat. There is no room on the veranda. It is feasible that I could build one out there, a modest one, but I’d have to find somewhere else for the plant pots, the barbeque and the trampoline.
Often when I visit my friend David in Dunoon, we sit in his shed. For no reason other than it is a good place to sit. His wife is bemused by this. We can see her looking out the back window - but we refuse to be intimidated. We stay in the shed. Not all day, just long enough to set up questions in her mind..

A proper shed will smell of wood and dust and contain all sorts of interesting garbage: boxes of stuff; bits of bicycle; tools; golf clubs; cobwebs; comics; beer; paint pots, Haynes manuals and a tin full of miscellaneous screws and nails. The average shed is a place where the average woman would not want to be for very long. That’s one reason why men like them.

Another is this: the noun shed is derived from the noun shade. Men understand this and value the respite that both things give us. That’s not to say that we dislike women or sunshine – it is just that we like going into a shed. In there, we feel child-like, removed and cocooned. It is a temporary time machine, a me-time machine.

My friend Maureen has a shed, but for her it is a storage space. For David, it is a place.

Stepping out onto a veranda is not nearly as good as going into a shed. I wish I had a shed.


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