Now that Spring is here it will soon be time for a job we have been putting off all winter: clearing out the shed. We have a large, but extremely tumbledown shed at the end of our garden. When we moved in, it was already a quarter full with detritus left by previous occupants, old bed heads, chicken wire, a coal scuttle and a shelf of distilling jars inexplicably filled with snail poo but no snails. There was also a strong and unpleasant odour which we quickly identified as rat poo. With no time to spare before the removal men descended, we swept it all into a corner before the shed was filled almost to the brim with old car seats, a roof box, boxes of unwanted files, bikes and numerous bits and pieces of garden furniture. To be honest, I’m not really sure what we will find in there when we eventually drag it out into the light of day, before embarking on the unpleasant job of clearing the rat poo away and getting the council round to check if we need to lay down poison.
Once that is done, I have dreams of an idyllic writer’s shed following in the footsteps of Virginia Woolf, Roald Dahl, Philip Pullman and many more. Perhaps a green roof to replace the corrugated plastic covered in moss and leaf mould currently providing minimal protection from the elements. A little desk in the south facing window where I can sit looking out over the garden on warm days. It seems a distant dream at the moment, but with some elbow grease should be achievable by the summer.
Then, as Virgina Woolf wrote of the journey from Monk’s House (just down the road from us) to her writing lodge: I “shall smell a red rose; shall gently surge across the lawn… take my writing board on my knee (for which read laptop); and let myself down, like a diver, very cautiously into the last sentence I wrote yesterday.”