One of the things about our new domestic arrangements that makes me very happy is the fact that I have a shed. I had a shed at both of the previously rented properties that we lived in, in fact in both cases it was more than a shed, it was a brick built outhouse. Now you might think that a brick built outhouse would be superior to a wooden shed and in most cases you would be right. But, a wooden shed that actually belongs to me trumps a rented brick structure any day. Coincidentally, both of the previous places were damp, dreary and dilapidated affairs and so is my new wooden shed. As a place to store precious tools and bicycles they are all a disaster. All three of them are a haven for rust and mould, corroding polished surfaces, eating valuable leather saddles and turning formally useful old T shirts rotten. They are temples of destruction and offer a man no sanctuary at all.
There is however, a very good reason why my new rotten wooden shed is superior despite its total inability to protect my belongings and that is the fact that this shed is mine. I can do what I want with it. I can repair it, or even replace it with a new one. I am in control of my shed! Almost. There is one small complication. Well, two actually.
The first one involves a rule of the residential park that we now live on. There are lots of rules on the park and most of them have no effect on our day to day lives. We are happy not to own a pet and we don’t mind parking in a particular place nor do we have any desire to run any kind of enterprise from our modest abode. There is one rule however which is frustrating. “No shed larger than 8′ x 6′ and only one per dwelling”. That is a shame. I don’t want to build a hangar but 10′ x 6′ would have been nice. Or just another 8′ x6′ for the bikes. Still, a little research reveals that you can get some quite tall 8′ x 6′ sheds so high rise it is. It seems that I can have a nice new higher than average shed without causing any infringement at all.
The second issue is a bit trickier. We are trying very hard to be good neighbours in our new situation and so far I think we are doing OK. We called and said happy Christmas to the ones that popped a card through our door and we have managed to step delicately through the parking wars whilst avoiding declaring any particular allegiance. We are doing our best to stick to the 5mph speed restrictions and we have resisted the temptation to take any gnomes hostage just for a laugh. But there is one issue that is going to be much trickier to negotiate. It involves my shed and that of my immediate neighbour and it has the potential to wreak havoc with our neighbourly relations.
My shed, the one that I was so thrilled to take possession of really is pretty rotten and it will have to be replaced at some point. When I replace it I intend to relocate it which would not be a problem except for one thing. My shed isn’t just a shed, it serves a dual purpose. It has a secondary function, that of holding up my neighbour’s shed. You see my neighbour has joined his shed to mine using a couple of shelf brackets and a piece of two by three and judging by the acute angle that his shed leans at, it’s obvious that without the support of my shed his would fall down. Tricky eh? How do I break it to him without it appearing that I am just being difficult? Or being an unsupportive neighbour, literally. Apart from not wanting to cause him any distress I like his leaning shed. It’s got character. Attitude even.
For now I am happy to let things stay as they are but I’ll have to face the problem sooner or later. I have spent quite a lot of time browsing shed websites you see and I can’t hold out forever. That new 8′ x 6′ sanctuary is calling me and I know that it won’t be long before I crack and place an order. I wonder if I could leave the old shed where it is and re-classify it as a ‘shed support unit’. I never imagined that owning my own shed would come with such heavy responsibility.