Saturday, 12 March 2016

A Shed of One's Own

Blog, I’ve neglected you, but in the last two years, two books, a daughter’s wedding and the building of a shed of my own which, all of which means I’ve been trying to have too much fun.  My new hut nicknamed the scribalatorium sits at the top of the field, behind our house, and is nearly finished and I can’t wait to get in there, although I’m nervous too.

 I’ve fantasised about a hut of my own for twenty years, no kidding.  This one is small but perfectly formed.  It’s been lovingly crafted by builder Ryan Broom, who arrives, in winter shorts (shorts! silver necklaces, tattoos) and who skims up the hill like a mountain goat, and who finds me all kinds of wonderful things-yesterday, a vacant/engaged lock from a junk shop for my compost loo, and a bright red handle, and the smallest Belfast sink you’ve ever seen.

He and his merry band, Justin, Ollie and Aidge the electrician, sit with our chickens on their laps eating lunch. None of them have complained once about the unbelievably awful November and December weather.

On Friday, a small wood burning stove is being installed, plus a Lilliputian kitchen, and the aforementioned compost loo. The hut’s windows overlook a stream, in the valley below, which wanders into the River Wye, and beyond the borders of England and Wales. From the other window I can just about see my washing line, which I’ll try to ignore.

The grassy slope up to the shed is so steep, friends joke I’m going to need a Stanner Hill lift. At nights, when the builders have gone home, I go outside and look at it. I can’t believe it’s mine, and hope, when it’s all finished, I don’t sit, like the writer Tilly Olsen, sobbing at my desk, overwhelmed at the prospect of getting what I wanted for so long.

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