Saturday, 5 April 2008

Painting the shed

Some days just work. Yesterday was one of those. The sun shone and we worked together in the garden. Ian was laying bricks for the base of our new greenhouse - can you imagine, a cedar greenhouse, my birthday present - and I was painting the shed. The shed has had to be moved as it was occupying the flat, sheltered, sunny site where the new greenhouse is to go. Now flat up here on the hill really means just a gentle slope, but still, prime land. So Ian had painstakingly taken the shed to pieces. We imported additional labour in the shape of older son to move it around the corner down to the end of the big pigsty and here it was rebuilt and given a smart new roof.

I don't think I have ever painted a shed before. It had previously had a dark green stain, now very faded, and there was new wood as well where Ian has replaced a rotten windown with new shiplap so the whole thing needed a new coat of dark green. It's mesmerising, the rhythm of a brush backwards and forwards across new wood. The sun was warm on my back and bluetits were whizzing in and out of the hawthorn hedge behind me. From time to time Ian came round to paint the high bits or the chickens passed through gently murmuring to each other looking for some new scratching places.

When it was done I almost felt like living in it. The view from the window is out across the valley. Put a chair and a radio in there and you could hide away for hours with the occasional foray off to the greenhouse for a change of scene. When we moved in here two and a half years ago the old shed was piled high with things, tools and lawmowers and stuff our predecessors had left which we couldn't face throwing away, so that going in was a squeeze and finding things a bit of a lottery. Sometimes you could see what you wanted but efforts to get it brought a rake down on your head or dislodged a packet of grass seed and spilt poultry manure pellets on your feet. Now there is space and order and tools hanging up on nails. I love it so much I am clearly now officially a middle aged person.

23 comments:

  1. I think it's the law that sheds must be dark green.. I used to love the springtime with my grandad when it was time to give his shed a lick of paint... He had the comfiest armchair and a radio tuned to local radio.. He had the oldest tools in the world in there but they all worked perfectly... Ahhh the memories....

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  2. My Shed is Dark Green too - 'Old English Green' wonder why we do this?

    I got carried away when we did ours and 8 5 litre tins of paint later, all the fences were done too, on both sides, all 180 foot of them! It was as you say highly satisfying! Middle Age gardener sounds good to me, budge up and I'll join you for a cuppa xx

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  3. I havent got a shed but i've got my pea And its green of course.. isnt it funny you can have the same view from your house window and comfier chairs but when i sit in the pea i'm on another planet! no dusting or piles of laundry beckoning, and no distant teenage noise "bliss".

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  4. Don't you just love the days that 'work' a congruent way and one to look back on with a warm feeling and a smile.

    So all we need now is a picture of your shed and of course your new greenhouse so that we can all get shed and greenhouse envy.

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  5. ah, to paint the shed neat and tidy and make it a room of your own. i can see that. beautifully.

    i spent a big chunk of yesterday cleaning the three-season front porch. washed all the windows, vacuumed the couches, swept and washed the floor, shook out the rugs, waxed the little tables.

    and now i am sitting out here on sunday morning, having coffee and reading your blog.

    porch season is finally here! (though i do also have a space heater going.)

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  6. Oooh! I love shed too, though mine is just a boring old brown. My husband's shed is a tasteful grren though.

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  7. Space is so important for the soul. Having a shed to retreat to must be lovely. I am afraid I can't get in our sheds at the moment without finding a family of sheep in there!

    CJ xx

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  8. Shed and greenhouse - lucky you. both good things to have on a draughty Welsh hillside.

    Now what's going in them?

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  9. Deep, deep greenhouse envy. I wish! But yes, a shed, a chair, a view and the clucking of chickens. And everything in its place. Sounds like a lovely middle-aged idyll to me too.
    Oh, a greenhouse - a cedar greenhouse, sob...

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  10. I knew a couple that fell out and he retreated to his shed....took an armchair, then the TV.....they stayed that way and never spoke again. He died last year...and she had to go in the shed to find his will...first time she had been in there! So just be careful with these shed things......

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  11. Oh, I think I've been a middle-aged person for quite some time. Sounds like a day well spent.

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  12. Liz I am such an addict of your blog! Ever since Maddy sent us the link Aidy and I have been avid readers, and today we found your beautiful words about our wedding; what a lovely description and a true gift! Thank you.
    I am so envious of your shed painting - please find something else that needs to be painted and let us come and help!
    Lots of love
    Hannah xx

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  13. That sounds like a day well and pleasurably spent. I also have greenhouse envy. The Great Dane and I often walk around looking for a flat, sunny spot for a greenhouse, but thus far haven't found the perfect place.
    If your shed is neat you are truly a middle aged person!

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  14. It all sounds idyllic. Thanks for that.

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  15. Don't you love the smell of potting sheds? There's something about them that whisks me back to childhood and my grandparents kitchen garden - my first experience of the Englishness of England.

    Enjoy your greenhouse and its future delights. Wonderful bday present.

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  16. Can I move into your shed? Sounds blissful. It is the right time of the year to start organising, cleaning and tidying. Very satisfying.

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  17. What a wonderful birthday present! It's nice that you get such satisfaction from simple things. It makes for a much happier person, I think. I bet you can't wait to put that greenhouse to use!

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  18. I've painted many a shed & I must confess that my tiny one in my tiny garden is dark blue! Well if I painted it dark green it would stand out a bit! Dark blue sort of merges.....
    Yours sounds lovely & big enough to relax in. I couldn't stand up in mine & would need to clear it of garden stuff to even get in it!
    I love the way you describe things!

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  19. I love days that 'just work', there aren't many are there?! And how fabulous your shed sounds, especially the view. My mother-in-law just had a shed for her birthday as well...it must be in the air ;-)
    Pigx

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  20. Oh I've been officially middle-aged since birth I think! Have always had a thing for sheds and spaces to call my own which is why I love my sewing room so much.

    Don't you love the way the hens follow you around when you are in the garden? xx

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  21. Careful, the Green Duck will be after your shed for one of its 'Hideaway' features! You make even shed painting sound idyllic - speaks volumes for your contentment at where you live.

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  22. OK, that's it. I'm going to run away from home and come and live in your shed. I love the smell of sheds.....and it will be hopefully free of the giant arachnids in your house....
    Bless you for such a lovely comment on my sorry-for-myself blog... I am SO SO tempted....

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  23. Aha!!

    I am so jealous-you may remember that we are actually not even allowed a shed here-planning/Grade 2 star listed barn and conservation area. Although one of the barns had one erected and painted it a lovely farrow and ball strong/stone colour...so far they haven't had any complaints!

    Hmmm...

    xx

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