Monday, October 26, 2009

Shed envy

I've never set much store by the Freudian penis envy nonsense. I was five when my brother came along and old enough to remember if I'd looked at my brother's appendage, realized, horrified, that I didn't have one, and run bawling to Mama. Sorry to break it to the guys out there, but I've questioned many of my female friends and relatives about this and they all hooted at the mere idea. There's consensus, all right, namely that Mr. Freud should go jump in a lake, but I digress.

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.

Liane Spicer

8 comments:

unclewilco said...

Well when you get a shed, then please share it with us on readersheds.co.uk could it be Shed of the year 2010/2011?

wilco

KeVin K. said...

Gonna skip commenting on that muse of yours...

For most of my writing years I've typed away at the kitchen table, all of my research materials in boxes that can be stashed in the hall closet, dreaming of building a home office when the kids moved out. But when our eldest left her room -- the one over the garage I really wanted for my office -- became a combination storage/exercise equipment/family computer room. When our son moved out, his room became my wife's sewing, homework and exercise equipment room and the room over the garage became a storage/family computer room. When our youngest moved out our son moved back, took the room over the garage as his and turned his little sister's room into a storage room for his stuff and ours. I have upgraded from the kitchen table to the dining room table. Someday, however, I will have an office.

Or maybe a shed.

Debs said...

Ooh look, there's my shed!

I must admit that every few weeks or so I spray the shed and lock the door, so that the next day (after I've let it aired so I don't choke) all the spiders that have snuck in there are dead. Sorry spider lovers.

Love my shed, but I'd probably die of fright if I found a viper in it.

Phyllis Bourne said...

I like the two-story ones in the parking lot at Home Depot. They are fricking HUGE!

akalol said...

I am glad you were able to shed some light on the matter :)

Looking at your shed's inventory, I didn't see much you could throw away. Even the old dot matrix and computer cadavers must have some value if only toe-stubbing, sentimental value. I don't write much but sometimes I feel I need to be locked away in a shed or some similar contraption to protect me from my blog - it's alive ;)

Liane Spicer said...

unclewilco, if I get lucky I'll be sure to let you know!

KeVin, my muse is great - but not for getting the writing done. What I need is a stern schoolmarm type rather than a Roman god look-alike! :) (Ah, children! They move out, then move back in... Ask my mother!)

Debs, as you would have realized, spiders are the least of my worries! I don't mind them at all - except for the large hairy ones...

Phyllis, a two-story shed? I am SO going to Google those. They'd never get me out of there!

akalol, :D
I'd throw everything out but my mother was raised in war days and holding on to stuff is now coded into her genes. (I can call my shed into service if you really need to be locked away. You can amuse yourself searching for snakes and spiders and your blog will never find you!)

Debi said...

I want one too. I guess we'll just have to carry on accessing our inner sheds.

Liane Spicer said...

Debi, now there's an idea! Think I'll spend an hour or two decorating mine! :)