The land of sheep and chocolate

Monday, September 25, 2006

Shed Mania

There's so much more space here and we absolutely love it. But it's worth asking the question: What does a man do with 500 square metres of garden? If you're a Kiwi bloke, the answer is to cover it in sheds.

It is shed-tastic in this country and it is pretty obvious from the moment you start house hunting. Most places here have a double garage and workshop and more often than not they come with a sleep-out, a kind of impromptu shed based bedroom in the garden. I looked at average sized houses with quad-garages, the same size as the house, with a tiny garden squeezed in between. For God's sake, what do they do in these buildings?

To find out, the place to look is The Shed, a magazine devoted to shed based activities. And it's a man's world in the Kiwi shed. They don't potter around collecting nails in jars; they have circular saws and they operate powertools. On a Sunday morning, the sound of hammering and sawing echoes around the suburbs.

What do the women think of his? My research hasn't got that far yet but I can reveal that the divorce rate here is 50%. Whilst I'm not saying that the national shed-obsession is the cause of the divorce epidemic, whose to say that whilst the men are hiding out in their sheds, their wives aren't smuggling the handyman into the bedroom?

That won't happen here. I did my best to buy a house with minimal outbuilding coverage on my section. Even so, I have a garage/workshop with attached sleepout and storage area as well as a separate shed. I am going to have the shed removed at the first opportunity; it's not worth putting my marriage at risk.

Besides, I want my garden available for growing vegetables. I spent the weekend putting up a fence around the veggie patch prior to the arrival of the dogs at the weekend. I can't be doing with them rolling around in the compost heap and digging up my potatoes. Jo is horrified about the amount of space I have taken up (or stolen as she puts it) and the pressure is on for me to grow something worth eating. The early signs are not good. My plastic greenhouse blew over in the wind last week and my pumpkins, tomatoes and peppers have had it.


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