Sally from the gift shop turned to me, visibly moved, and said “You mean I too have my own shed?” Not knowing whether to laugh or nod reassuringly, I confirmed she did indeed have a shed, in fact two sheds. Even better they have lights, low level heating and doors that lock. What more could she possibly want?
I had to give Sally a shed as she has been collecting reindeer, of the willow variety, for the Christmas events we are holding. Worried about not having enough, she ordered two herds of different sized reindeer, plus a red sleigh, all of which needed to be stored somewhere. We then thought it would be a good idea to move all the rest of the Christmas decorations down from various rooms and hidey holes at the top of the Castle to said sheds so that Sally could sort it all out and see what she had. It was something of a mammoth task, and we all had a good work out carrying everything down three flights of stairs, but at least everything is now in one place. It was extraordinary to realise how much we had…
Of course, everybody here wants a shed. Two of our team were sharing one shed which did not work out so one of them wished to move to the one next door. In order to achieve that, all the lawnmowers stored in that shed had to be moved to another shed in which old, possibly useful, pipes were stored which in turn were moved to another shed further away on the estate.
Luis already has two sheds but wanted another one to store drinks fridges when not in use. Then he and Jorge also wanted a shed for chairs. Now they want a shed for Josephine Vanessa, the Citroen van, and the pop-up gin bar they have all made. New floors and doors, light and a little heat and they are all happy again.
Duncan wanted a shed for computers, Philip for logs and I have a shed for books in what is called John Mason’s garage. John was a mechanic who worked here for years and I remember him sitting outside it smoking about 20 years ago towards the end of his life. In fact, everyone shoves everything into the book shed en route to other sheds although, officially, Pat the decorator is the only one allowed to share my shed. She stores her paints in one side of it because she is very special and quite the boss.
Josh the joiner has a shed, David H has one shed but wants another, and every tenant always wants a shed. It is actually easier to mend or reinstate one at the start of every tenancy as they always ask for one anyway. We also have a shed near the entrance to store luggage for visitors when they arrive, which has been an excellent shed to have.
Camilla’s shed, by Sally’s store room, is so named for Camilla Clutterbuck who Sally and I still miss, as do her family. Having a shed means she is here in our lives each day and in spirit shares her shed with Sally with whom she used to work.
Moving further away from the heart of the Castle complex, sheds abound yet somehow there are never enough.
Every year or so, we play our endless game of musical chairs with all the sheds to try to make people happy and Geordie then says really, one way or another, they are all mine anyway so where is his shed? Entirely unhelpful and in any case, sheds are not his thing – unless there is a horse in it, in which case it is a stable.