Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Venturing into the Shed

It started, as so many things do, with the purchase of what I hope one day to be a flourishing Sorbus Aucuparia. Currently, it is just an 8 foot twig in a pot. As soon as the ground has thawed sufficiently for me to dig a hole, I plan to plant the tree in a space I have been saving in the corner of my traditional mixed hedgerow. I am going to need a spade and some compost. Unfortunately... that means venturing into the shed.

The shed was erected by the previous occupants of our house about a week before they decided to sell it to us. Quite why they decided to erect a shed on a property they intended to sell is a mystery. But our house came with an uninsulated, but relatively spacious, brand new shed.

Lots of famous writers have worked in sheds. Roald Dahl, Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf and Philip Pullman spring immediately to mind, and I'll bet that you have your own favourites. I could imagine myself writing in my shed: blanket over the knees in winter, door open in the summer, staring out the window to see songbirds peck the berries of a flourishing Sorbus Aucuparia in the autumn - you get the picture.

The first hindrance was the lawn mower. I knew, I suppose, on some level, that lawns need mowing and that mowers need to be stored somewhere, and the shed is the logical place for the mower to be stored etc. But I can't imagine Virginia Woolf staring at a greasy lawn mower when she was bashing out To The Lighthouse on her portable Underwood (although perhaps that was her inspiration for Kew Gardens!).

Then came the barbecue. It was one of those kettle barbecues on a tripod of wheels that never feels well-balanced. I assembled it on the morning of Finn Jr's 1st birthday party, cooked on it in the afternoon of Finn Jr's 1st birthday party, and then put it and the accompanying bags of charcoal in the shed - where it has sat ever since, except when I have to move it so I can get the lawn mower out.

This winter, the lawn mower and the barbecue have been joined by two broken sofas, a bicycle, two bags of peat-free compost, various digging implements and all the recycling from when we missed a collection over Christmas.   

Today, I thought I would make a start on sorting it all out. Not least so that I could get to the spade and compost and plant my Sorbus Aucuparia. Have you ever tried to saw a broken sofa in half with a handsaw so that you can get it in the back of a Fiesta? I bet Dylan Thomas never had to do this. Do not go gently into that full shed!

The large twig to the right of the shed is my new Sorbus Aucuparia.