The love that men have for their sheds fascinates me. Whilst many women love cooking and their kitchens, I think the ‘shed syndrome’ is something entirely different and quite unique to men.
Perhaps it goes back to the man being the hunter, provider, and ‘fixer’!?! Perhaps it is a symbol of his connection to his father, the place where he was first taught how to hammer in a nail or how to saw his first piece of timber.
In the apparent chaos of most sheds I’ve ever peeped into, men always seem to be able to miraculously put their hands upon exactly what they are looking for.
Some women nag their partners about the state of their sheds but come on girls give them a break. Like my girls’ bedrooms, I gave up nagging them a long time ago. It is THEIR SPACE, when all is said and done!
As a little girl, I used to love going into my father’s shed. It was like Aladdin’s cave! There were heaving shelves of Quality Street tins filled with every conceivable size of screw, washer, nail etc; old rusting tins of National Dried Baby Milk (No SMA or Cow and Gate then).
A chunky oak bench fixed with a vice that nearly talked to me as I opened and closed its gaping mouth. There were fierce-looking, but compelling implements stuck to cobwebbed walls. Dented tins of maroonish-colored paint, that covered nearly everything that could be painted at number 19 Hargrave Avenue.
The smell of white spirits or ‘thinners’ as my dad used to call it, mixed in with paint, oil, metal, polishes, etc. will remain in my nostrils forever. Next to the smell of music shops and bookshops, I love most, the intricately brewed aroma of hardware shops, particularly those mad, completely chaotic ones of little towns and villages.
I love the fact that my dad loved his shed.
This poem is a tribute to men and their sheds everywhere.
I love you so much,
I’d build you a shed.
A place to read comics,
And bury your head.
I’d learn how to fix,
Driving nails into wood;
With hands carved in love,
As a carpenter would.
I’d leave cracks in the roof,
You could spy on the stars,
Let your weary mind fly
Off to Pluto and Mars.
I’d set the stove blazing,
For your soul, for your hunger.
A space you can dream in,
Your hopes brighter … longer.
I’d put in some tools there;
A plane and a lathe.
Your boat made … set sail in,
Moored in moonlight … you’d bathe.
And then when YOU’RE ready,
I’ll come to your bed.
And we’ll look at the stars,
Through the eyes of that shed.