Tuesday, January 08, 2008
A Man And His Shed
When we were looking for a new house, I made sure there was a shed in the garden. Because what is a man without a shed? Nothing, I tell you.
The shed is my exclusive domain. There's practically nothing there that belongs to Mrs.B, apart from some garden equipment and pots and fertiliser and things. It is stuffed with all things male, such as power tools and big pieces of lumber and testosterone.
And rubbish, plenty of it. So much that it had become impossible to get in, unless you made a silly kind of dance jumping from one free spot on the floor to another. The previous owner also made a mess of the shelves he made from various pieces of scrap wood and metal. Inconveniently low beams kept a stack of all sorts of old pieces of hardboard and timber in the air. I couldn't really stand in there and I kept bumping into the wooden beams. And then there were the leaks, I couldn't figure out where but water was seeping in and a lot of the wood was starting to rot. It smelled of mildew, and I'm allergic to mildew.
So for the last two weekends I've been busy tidying up the place. I dragged all the old wood out and cut the beams below the ceiling. Luckily, this didn't affect the stability of the shed in a negative way, as Mrs.B feared and as I discovered simply by trying out. The wood is for the neighbours' stove, this is the second winter they'll be able to warm their house with pieces of ours. The old rickety shelves went out too. I managed to crush my tumb between the handle bar of the lawn mower and one of those shelves, I can now plant coconuts by pushing my tumb in the ground. And on the very end, I broke my hammer.
That's right, I was firmly engaged in a battle of minds with a stupid piece of wood that just wouldn't come off the wall. No wonder, since it was attached to the wall with those big old hand-made square nails that were probably used to hang Christ on the cross. I threw in everything I had, and then my hammer went 'crack' and it broke off just underneath the head. Poor hammer, I had it since university (it's mandatory equipment for Belgian college students).
But now at least the shed is clean and empty. All my stuff is in neat plastic boxes of various sizes. All I have to do now is buy new clean empty shelves to stack the neat plastic boxes in an orderly way. This way, I'll be able to keep my shed tidy for, say... oh at least four days.