With its “door-droppingly-ugly” looks your average Englishman’s shed is as downtrodden as a 19th Century Housewife.
We’ve all owned a shed, or know someone who has or who does. A veritable spider’s web of “necessary” vitals, stored in an “out of sight is out of mind” manner, behind its creaking entrance and raspy, rusty, old bolt.
The musty, ageing musk of the goodness knows in our nostrils, as we run the gauntlet of the splinter promised walls.
The mystery to the child who is forced to keep out, and away from the dangers that lie within.
Victorian terracotta plant pots, mysteriously coated in cement-like substance, inherited from Grandad’s own hut hoarding. Garden tools without which we cannot scythe to survive. Three watering cans too many, and the various chemical fertilisers that promised so much on a Garden Centre shelf, but which now have their lids cross-threaded on more tightly than the pursed lips of an accountant with unbalanced books. Labels scattered on the floor, that have worn off the corrosive containers, with abandon. Toxic! Caution! Bees beware! Handle with care, for our modern & better world.
Tobacco tins of nails and screws, labelled in a bygone era, by Dad, to be retained for a DIY day where there’s not quite enough. From Allen keys to garden canes, to twine and the ageing sweet pea seeds. It’s all available if you know where to rummage.
A solitary children’s toy trike, tossed in a downpour, from the pitted patio. Balanced on top of tins of stale paint, with their buckled, rusty, slightly soiled lids. The remnants of yesteryear’s decorating in the dining room. Their spattered rainbows of carefree colours, adorning their once shiny sides.
And once, some year, every once in a while? The tidy, with a view to throwing away the useless, the discarded, the unwanted. But the reality is the precious return of it all – just onto different shelves. A bit neater. For now!
And all this detritus stays put, ripe for the fruits of pilferers viewing through the ill fitting, poly, popped out, far from picture window.
And you’ll find them, from Carlisle to Crawley, and Penzance to Peterlee. Our sheds, with the charm that we cherish.