A recent article in the British Medical Journal suggests that doctors may be finally giving up on pills as a solution to all ills. A study by Professor Alan White of Leeds Metropolitan University, suggests that a peaceful retreat may help lower blood pressure. He goes on to add that pottering about with odd jobs may have a positive impact on self-esteem. Actually, I didn’t know I had a problem with my self-esteem but if the good doctor says so, I suppose I must.
It is timely that I saw this article because I am due for a medication review shortly so it gives me the chance to think about the shed I need in the garden – strictly for medical purposes of course!
Nothing too small – as big as a garage at least, and heated – definitely heated. Plenty of light – a view of the garden and a veranda – but out of sight and hearing of any wifely calls. I could manage a kettle for my tea or a flask with coffee and brandy in the winter. There would need to be room service for elevenses and sandwiches for lunch (with the crusts cut off). Maybe I could have a barrel of beer on tap or brew my own? I could bring out my collection of Malt Whisky and quietly sample one or two (or three a day). Even have some other connoisseurs around for an afternoon tipple. May not be too good for the blood pressure though?
I could also move all my books into the shed – all the ones I have and haven’t read and the ones I want to read again one day. Then I could leave them lying open all around the shed at interesting pages just in case reading takes my fancy at any moment. Newspapers – I would need at least two delivered to the shed everyday, and if I didn’t read them, I could stack them in a pile in the corner until I could get around to reading them.
Corners – now there is a thought – corners are always a good place to tidy things away, so as well as the corner for old newspapers, I could have a corner for string, you never know when you might need string – and another corner for bamboo canes, old broom handles and long bits of metal, absolutely essential in any garden shed (and for low blood pressure) (and self-esteem). A corner for a grow bag for tomatoes near the window, and another corner for a grow bag for hops for my home-brewed beer. A corner for the plastic Christmas tree and another corner for the illuminated Stetson hatted Santa Claus that my Texan friend, John Tripplehorn, sent me. In fact, maybe I could use all the Christmas tree lights to light the shed , then I could stay out there on dark nights. But I would need mince pies and sherry to get into the true spirit of Christmas all year. So that’s a shed with at least six corners – better have eight because corners seem to fill up quite quickly.
ONE OCTAGONAL SHED PLEASE DOCTOR FOR MY HYPERTENSION
Oh and don’t forget the shelves – you can never have too many shelves. Obviously I need shelves for the books – strong shelves so they don’t fall down like the ones in the house did. Then there needs to be shelves for everything else – all the de-cluttering we are going to do in the house:-
- Shelves for all the gadgets we have bought and never used ;
- Shelves for all he booze I have bought and never drunk – Plum Brandy from Czechoslovakia, Marsala for the Zabaglone that I never made ;
- Big wide shelves for all the suitcases that have long since be superseded by other suitcases ;
- Shelves for all the ornaments dotted all around the house. Dozens of ornaments which will fill at least three walls and bring me joy every time I look at them ;
- Shelves for all the empty vases around the house. The small ones that are too small; the big ones that are too big. I will leave in the house only the ones that are just right – if I can figure that out ;
- A shelf with hooks for saucepans that we might need one day ;
- Several shelves for box files that contain bank statements, bills and letters from the taxman that go back to when I first earned money as a paper boy ;
- Last, but not least, in my garden shed, shelves for jars and pots. Jars full of nails, nuts, bolts, labels, can tops, wire, more string and assorted screws that I might use one day. The pots are left over from the plants I have bought over the last ten years. It seems such a shame to throw them away.
With the house de-cluttered, we should be able to turn some of the upstairs rooms into extra walk-in wardrobes and my garden shed will feel just like home.