Friday, June 11, 2010

Shedworking by Alex Johnson

I've been reading this book this afternoon: Shedworking by Alex Johnson and finding it an inspiration. There are all sorts of sheds in here, sheds in trees, sheds by ponds, sheds made with bricks, wood and concrete and one with mirrored walls so reflective that it tricks the eye and fools it into thinking it is not there at all. I like to look at this but I don't think I'd like to have it at the end of my garden.

Then there's a section on all the famous people that have worked in sheds and it reminds me what a peaceful place it is, especially in summer, and that soon I must go out there again. Even though there is no reason for me to work in the shed any longer since I am the only one in the house all day, still I want to go out there. There is something relaxing being out there, away from everything, alone with the keyboard.

The following section is on building a shed of your own. This too is interesting, and reminded me of the way my husband adapted the shed we had built - insulating it so it will be warm enough in the cooler months. One thing I have noticed is that these working sheds have better doors than mine, and this is really something I need to improve. The door I have is leaky and the handle difficult to use (although pretty to look at). There is a handy section on factors to consider when building your own shed, and the door is one of these.

I actually recognise a few names from the section on 'At Work in the Shed': there's Sylvia Petter, whose excellent short stories I've read, and Christine Farmer, an artist who produces the most stunning pictures of clouds. Then there is Warwick Collins who wrote the novel 'Gents'. He has a very sturdy writing shed built from bricks, with what looks like a wood-burning stove. I am envious.

Then there are futuristic sheds, and green sheds - a particularly apt section I think, because working in a shed seems to lend itself particularly well to economical living. Inherent is the idea of taking up little space, and of being immersed in nature - so it seems only right that the shedworker should try to leave as little impression on the world as possible.

I have a few sections to go, and I am really enjoying the pictures and the words. Interspersed with the prose is a little poetry which is unexpected but works really well. Altogether a thoroughly entertaining and interesting read - which I think I may well finish in my little office outdoors.


Anonymous Adrienne said...

I laughed when you mentioned being envious of Warwick Collin's shed when I have been so envious of yours from the first day I stumbled on your blog! I guess we all have shed envy of some sort ;)

Fri Jun 11, 08:50:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Hi Adrienne - yes, shed-emvy :-)

Fri Jun 11, 10:55:00 pm  
Blogger cromercrox said...

I like sheds. I shall drop hints about this book to Mrs Crox. Fathers' Day being nearly here, and all.

Sat Jun 12, 11:06:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

An excellent, idea, Cromercrox - and glad to hear that Mrs Crox also is in charge of the 'Father's Day' purchases. You remind me that I need to start reminding my sons that it is time to do their duty.

Sat Jun 12, 11:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Adrienne said...

I am pleased to report that the pictures of your shed that I stumbled on so long ago have now inspired my new husband to finally get my interior finished properly. By properly I mean he is paying a professional to come and tend to the walls, install a big window and a screen door. Hurrah!

Sun Jun 13, 02:02:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Oooh, more shed-envy! (Especially about the screen door). I'd love to see this when it is finished Adrienne.

Sun Jun 13, 01:05:00 pm  
Blogger Merc said...

Lovely to find my souk in the book and discover the news among the snails. Merci beaucoup, Clare.

Mon Jun 14, 02:40:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Mon plaisir, Merc! Les escargots aiment le souk :-)

Mon Jun 14, 03:07:00 pm  

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