Tuesday, 19 June 2012
I love a shed. We have a huge shed which my partner had built after he moved to the property. The original shed was made from galvanised iron which had a dirt floor and leaked. It was spooky and so dark you couldn't even see to the back of it, like something from Wolf Creek. My partner fixed the shed before he fixed the house. When it was completed I liked it so much more than our unrenovated home (read glorified lean-to shack) that I could have quite happily slept on the shed's new concrete floor.
When I moved permanently to the farm last year I had all of my boxes stored in the shed, my extensive wardrobe of designer clothing taking up the majority of the space. Soon after my partner developed a twitch. Every time he went into his shed he broke into a sweat and had to walk out. He has no trouble dumping his clothes on the floor before a shower and leaving them there for days, or leaving his dirty socks on the coffee table after a night watching the footy, yet he can't handle things being out of order in his shed. I feel sorry for him having so little say in the interior design of the house when we renovated, so I am happy to have him believe the shed is his domain, his man cave and place to go to think and tinker and whittle wood or whatever simple stuff men do to make them happy.
What is it about men and their sheds? According to an online article in 'The Gurdian' UK, sheds are apparently good for men's health. Pottering around and doing odd jobs is therapeutic and completing a task gives a feeling of achievement. I have come across some online sites and organisations which fall under the umbrella of the Australian Men's Shed Movement such as The Shed Online which was created by beyondblue: the national depression initiative, The Movember Initiative and the Australian Men's Shed Association. Just like men's sheds the site provides a safe online community for men to share ideas and network and offers information about issues such as health. If a shed can get a man to call a doctor it has to be a good thing. There are others I came across in my search, all with the goal of bringing men together. Scanning the sites felt like I was walking in on some secret mens business I wasn't meant to see.
It could be suggested that women actually need sheds more than men as a place to get away. Just quietly, I love going in there. Standing at the door looking at all the tools, the mowers and ATVs and the petrol cans, in my OCD dreams I think I would love to organize it a la the Amandas (reality tv is one of my addictions), but I also love that it smells like machinery, oil and hay. I like having to go in there for the ride on mower or to grab a shovel or a pick or something I can do something with. I think you know you are a chick who has arrived in the country when you have an affinity with a shed.
The Shed Online, Mens Shed, Men Sheds, The Guardian