Welcome, dear reader, to another sunny Sunday in North Yorkshire at Chez Comb. Having just put the title of this blog up I realise it is a tad misleading. My dear spouse is not missing his shed as in being minus a shed - it has not been stolen or demolished and thus he is not suffering from the absence of his shed. No, he is suffering from a lack of visiting his shed.
How can this be? You might well ask and no maybe you are, right now. You didn't even know spouse had a shed down the bottom of the garden that he might visit. Well why would you? It's not a subject I would be banging on about in the normal course of events, but events have not been normal lately. Well, when are they, let's face that one head on?
Better begin at the beginning as all the best stories do. When we moved to this house last year there were a couple of small sheds down the garden, one of them was in good condition and one was rather dilapidated. So the good shed was used for storing our garden tools and machinery, but where was spouse to put all his boys toys? Chain saws, big electric saws and the good Lord knows what ever else and I really don't know. We are old-fashioned in our division of labour - he keeps out of my kitchen and I keep out of his workshop. But the trouble was, he now didn't have a workshop. He had a garage and so filled it up with all his paraphernalia. Ah but, now he couldn't get his precious car in the garage. I know dear reader, don't tell me, I know. No-one uses their garage for the car these days. Oh yes they do, spouse does. So what to do now? Build a mega-shed of course.
My dearest reader, if you could have seen the look of the purest of pure delight on spouse's face as the idea dawned on him, you too would have taken a step back. Really, heaven has no more to offer a man than a large garden with space to put the shed of his dreams on. And at that point, dear reader, I became a shed widow.
Unfortunately for me, the plot of ground he chose had gnarled old trees on it, interspersed with ragged and overgrown shrubs. Why unfortunately for me? After all, I had no wish to be the proud possessor of a mega-shed. But, no man is an island and mine certainly is not. I was enrolled as honorary shed side-kick and put to work assisting in the digging out of shrubs and removal of tree branches, prior to spouse wading in with chain saw and axe.
All well and good. But a meg-shed requires a mega-base to stand on and at that point in the proceedings, spouse's proposed site required digging over and trees roots removing. Thus it was that for some months before and after Christmas, I became a shed widow. I had been hoping that when we came indoors from our summer labours in the garden that spouse would multi-task in the house and put some pictures up, all that kind of stuff that makes a house a home. But no, how could trivia like that compete with the foundations for a shed? Obviously it didn't, as the sightings of spouse grew fewer and fewer as his enthusiasm for his new shed grew. He appeared for meals, well he would, wouldn't he? Food and wielding axes being his great loves in life.
Being a Yorkshireman and not wanting to part with a brass farthing if he could possibly help it, he constructed the base out of flagstones taken up from the garden. I have to admit this was a good idea, (it kills me to say so, but it was). We will be re-modelling the garden this year and the flagged paths are not in our new design. So dozens of flags were manhandled on to the site and carefully placed, the spirit level employed at every turn to ensure a firm and level base. Nearing the end of this operation the new shed was ordered from a local company.
Their representative came out to view spouse's endeavours and the base was pronounced excellent. Spouse's cup runneth over, almost. The very next weekend the shed was erected and THEN spouse was ecstatic. Thinking about it, I'm surprised we haven't had an official opening of the shed with a bottle of champagne being smashed against it. Personally, I'll settle for drinking it inside the shed sometime.
Fondly I thought, 'well that's that then', my life-partner will re-enter my life again. Oh so wrong was I, dear reader. A mega-shed needed the gold star treatment. Not content with having the shed in place, spouse then set about insulating it, boarding it out and painting the boarding in a delicate shade of cream to make it light and bright. And so it is. It is a beautiful space and he has kitted it out with work benches and his tools and is generally delighted with it all.
All was going well until the end of last week my dear reader. Every day, spouse was transferring more of his gear down to the shed, happy as a little sand boy can be and then, disaster struck, or more pertinently, Montezuma's revenge and spouse has been confined to barracks ever since. Looking disconsolately down the garden yesterday he mournfully came out with the immortal line, 'I miss my shed',
Now if he'd have said, 'I miss being out in the sunshine and fresh air,' as he is wont to spend his time outside, I could have understood and empathised with this notion. But missing a shed? I'm sorry, dear reader, for once I am at a loss. The almost umbilical link between men and their sheds is beyond me and I am happy for it to remain so. I look forward to spouse's recovery, not just for his restoration to good health, but because I really can't stand much more of the shed-longing glimpsed deep in his lovely blue eyes.
I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and a good week to come.