Men and sheds now becoming Boy and sheds

Great article in the Guardian today

First, Rebecca Tyrrel lost her husband to his shed – now her son has his own private bolthole too

Matthew Norman outside his shed with his son Louis. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian
Matthew Norman outside his shed with his son Louis. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian

Under an old apple tree at the top of the garden, dappled in sunshine, is a small green shed. It sits a few yards from the hedge that separates our tiny patch of Dorset from the garden next door, in which Thomas Hardy’s mother, Jemima, once played as a little girl. Within the shed, presumably far enough from the madding crowd of one (me), its occupant, Louis, our 13-year-old, is doing whatever it is that the male of the species tends to do in a small outhouse. Precisely what that is I cannot say, because with sheds, there is an unofficial omerta that forbids the owner divulging his activities therein to any female.

Louis may or may not be the youngest shed-dweller in Britain today, but he is surely the proudest. Offered carte blanche (within financial, legal and moral reason), the choice of any present to mark his shift into teenagerdom, this 8x6ft building was his first choice.

Surely, I suggested, he would prefer something electronic or mildly dangerous, something with wheels? Something flashy and gaudy, possibly something with an apple wrought into its outer casing? But no. A shed, and only a shed, would do.

His father took a different view when I relayed the news and the beam of paternal pride was clearly audible even at a distance of 130 miles. “That’s my boy,” he said, speaking from his own shed in Shepherd’s Bush. Then he added something remarkably apt, given the old branches looming over the junior shed in Dorset, about the apple never falling far from the tree.

When my son was about 7 he built a “shed” at the end of the garden – well it was a bit of wood angled from fence to the floor but it was a great start, so I have good feelings about his future shedism.

By Andrew Wilcox

I love sheds Founder & judge of Shed of the year - Wilco writes mainly about sheds. About the blog Enter your shed into #shedoftheyear