Envy is nowhere on my list of sinful indulgences (so many more interesting ones out there!) but I freely admit to the shed version. Apparently the 'shed at the bottom of the garden' is a ubiquitous British phenomenon and several of my online friends have turned theirs into writing sheds. One of them, Debs Carr, even won a shed prize this year. Take a look at her paragon of shedly beauty...
Yes, I've got it bad. I want one. I want to walk out of the house, down a garden path, and enter a shed that's all mine. A writing shed. A cozy niche that I don't have to dress up to go to, and where my muse is always eager to greet me as he reclines on an old daybed, wine glass in hand, toga slipping off his bronzed, muscular torso...
This week, after yet another debilitating bout of shed envy, it dawned on me that we DO have a shed. Maybe, just maybe... I went outside and looked at it with new eyes. Well, I tried anyway.
My mother used to store supplies in there when she was building her house and she keeps planning to tear it down, but first she'll have to decide what to do with all the junk inside: a huge aquarium with a broken panel; about five computer cadavers, courtesy my son, and an old dot matrix printer, courtesy same; entrails of said son's first car; lengths of PVC pipe, ends of wood, a wheelbarrow, paint cans, shovels, forks... You can barely get beyond the door and finding something in there is such a frightful prospect that we usually back away slowly and run off to the hardware store instead. The last time my sister braved the shed she moved a bucket out of the way and a young mapepire (deadly fer-de-lance viper) scrambled from underneath it and disappeared from sight.
I stood there looking at the shed and my little flicker of hope spluttered - and died. The thing leaks in about twenty places and it doesn't take much of a wind to get the roof flapping. There are gaps in the floorboards, and tidemarks from the time it got flooded out. I'd need a truck to cart away all the junk - and where would I put the tools, the bags of fertilizer and potting soil, the seedling trays? More pertinently, where did that snake go? Is it still there, all grown up now? Has it settled down and started a family?
So much for that brilliant idea. I'll just have to get by without a writing shed after all.