The Man Shed Is Moving
There is no need to adjust your set.
Nor to wonder if a blogger of your acquaintance has been indulging a tad over enthusiastically in lockdown lunch time Pinot before tottering outside with the camera. Well she hasn’t. Not this week anyway. As if.
No, the only conclusion we can draw from the photograph above is that the Man Shed has developed a port side list. And not only does the shed lean from right to left it also tilts from front to back. It’s fair to say the structure wasn’t in prime condition when we inherited it upon purchasing the house but the downward slide has only been accelerating in the intervening years.
The shed would probably have fallen down years ago had it not been physically supported by the outhouse alongside it.
The notice on the cross beam, put up there by our predecessor, has never been more pertinent.
Over the last couple of years the precarious nature of the shed has been further undermined, literally, by the collapse of the floor. Rotting timbers have caused the workbench to sink into the void beneath. I don’t know how Mike continued to use it quite frankly. Certainly not without the extra bit of 4×2 anti gravity upstand attached to the back, saving us a fortune in screws, and quite possibly their drivers as well, rolling off into unknown depths never to be seen again.
We could ignore the problem no longer. And the time is right.
Next to the shed there’s a stone built outhouse originally used as dry storage for seasoned logs and latterly a general dumping ground for any building related detritus that might happen to find its way in there. With all building work currently on hold what better opportunity then to clear it all out and use the space for a more practical and sustainable purpose: a new (and decidedly more robust) home for the Man Shed.
It’s even received a new coat of paint.
That was the easy bit.
Because although He Who Paints may beg to disagree, nothing quite compares to the relocation of the workbench.
It’s heavier than it looks. Much, much heavier. And that’s without the additional obstacle provided by the steps, a 25 inch difference between the shed floor and the path. Off to the left of the path in the photo above, the vertiginous drop over the new terraces to the greenhouse level 12 feet below. Which while mostly out of shot here was forefront of mind in the moment let me tell you. One misplaced step and the almost inevitable journey south would be uncomfortable by anyone’s estimation. Especially if a full sized workbench followed you down.
Mike started by lifting each end of the workbench out of its accustomed hole until it sat centrally upon the shed floor. The Gardener, his conscripted assistant, was offered a choice. Did she want to be outside the shed guiding the workbench down the steps? Or lifting it from inside the shed taking her chances with the rotten floor? I chose the latter. The floor had acquired a novel springiness with the workbench no longer weighing down the rotten ends of the floorboards. I now know what it feels like to walk on air. Apart from the expectation that at any moment there might have been a sickening crunch and The Gardener disappear abruptly into a bottomless pit. At least I wouldn’t have been alone. A pair of mice had scuttled across the shed floor even as we’d been casing the task, from the outside looking in.
Inch by inch the workbench moved.
Complete with rebuilt and bolstered legs, the workbench installed in its new home. Level. Solid.
Mike will be happy for days now, getting everything organised in there.
Nice that he found the doormat wasn’t it? A homely touch I thought.
I guess I’d better do my bit and weed the planter on the Singer stand.