Further to this post, it’s time for a shed update from the Telegraph:
The mystical covenant between men and sheds, an anchor of civilisation for centuries, appeared last week to be facing two dire threats to its existence; the advent of the £20,000 price tag, and an invasion by women.
Twenty grand for a rickety hut on a Dorset clifftop? Outstanding value, says Andrew Harvey, a local estate agent, and confirmation, if any was needed, of the dizzying spread of shed chic. Built in the 1960s, the down-on-its-luck structure, 8ft by 6ft, and in manifest need of repair, is believed to have set a price record for a no-frills, allotment variety British shed.
“It might seem a lot of money but it’s in a nice setting, and someone will definitely buy it,” predicts the author Gareth Jones, 27, whose stylish new book, Shedmen, forms part of the modern shedscape’s burgeoning literature. The “someone”, moreover, is highly likely to be a woman.
A recent survey found that 40 per cent of women considered their sheds to be an important private space compared with only 38 per cent of men. “Women these days are spending much more time in sheds,” says Jones, “and I suppose not everyone’s happy about it.”
Also, Chris “Virtual Stoa” Brooke pointed out to me on the phone the other day that he recently attended the shed-warming party of his movie-geek brother Michael.
Clearly this is a watershed in the affairs of men.
Arthur and Anthea ‘Two Sheds’ Jackson. The pair shedding together.
George, it’s nice to meet you in a shed comments box. I have one of your books — it’s called The Slant Door, but as far as I can tell this is not a sly reference to sheds. I have one book of poems to my credit or otherwise, called The Charlie Manson False Bay Talking Rock Blues and other Poems (no it’s not Dylanesque, unless we’re talking Thomas) and I’m cursing and sweating over the order of poems in a new one at the moment. Do you have trouble with that sort of thing?
I realise this is a hijacking, but Damian isn’t here so I assume we can talk among ourselves.
Well, what are sheds for, Dave?
I have never written a book with a title as long as yours (let’s not get into title envy), and may even have a problem getting the order of words right. Where does Sharon Tate come in? And has Polanski made Oliver Twist yet?
My longest title was in 1998. Portrait of my Father in an English Landscape. That so exhausted me that the latest book is called merely Reel. Four letters. And two of them the same.
Erm, hi Damian. How’s Brighton?
…Haré, Haré Haré, Krishna Haré, Haré Krishna…
The future is orange, then?
My new book is called “A Book of Lives”, which is a bit shorter. There used to be an ID document in apartheid SA called the Book of Life (as bad as it sounds). So some people might get it. Of course, I hope the reviews — if there are any — don’t call it A Book of Lies.
I can just imagine how Polanski would make Oliver Twist — in the wind, on the end of a rope.
Best wishes for the new book. I’ve been dipping into The Slant Door again. It isn’t half bad, as the English bewitchingly say.
Sorry for hijacking the comments box, Damian.
PS: Of course, Reel is a backward Leer.
Now — the Turner Prize shed: Grauniad report
“… But there is some (albeit rather mild) outrage to be had about Simon Starling’s Shedboatshed.
It was once a shed in Switzerland. Then he dismantled it and turned it into a boat. Something in the name tells me he then turned it back into a shed. This piece puts Starling in the longish tradition of artists whose work has something that isn’t “arty” enough to be art, and sparks objections in the manner of: “That’s not art! That’s just a shed! My five-year-old son could dismantle a shed!” In fact, on mature consideration, I don’t think a five-year-old could turn a shed into a boat, but nevertheless …
[…] In October 2005, PooterGeek features two posts and twenty-two comments celebrating sheds. In December 2005, the creator of Shedboatshed wins the Turner Prize for Art. Even Dave F’s joke is recycled by a Professor Sam Shuster on the Guardian letters page. […]
Well rather late really…. but so glad I found this! my next blog post will be about shedding …
The debate rages on – see my blog