There are some things in life that you regret saying. For me, it was these simple words: let’s build a shed.
Yep, fatal. It was some time ago, but the words stuck in my husband’s mind as he investigated the internet trying to find a ready-build.
We wanted one to fit the awkward size at the end of the garden, or a small one that would be pimp-able to suit the children’s needs for extra space away from the living room and the no-shoes-on-the-sofa policy.
My husband and I finally agreed it was time to start the shedifice, as we lovingly call it, by having a design stage in the kitchen.
I’ve been marking angles and windows on a sheet of paper in different colours and adding annotations of where our inconvenient tree is, and where I might plant some tall daisies in the future.
That’s because I can clearly see the end result. All the prep work is a minor inconvenience on a Sunday afternoon. I mean, how hard can four wooden walls be?
Of course, in the garden the reality hit home and the lovingly-coloured diagram which was patently not to scale and far too optimistic was quickly screwed up into a ball and thrown down in disgust.
The shedifice had an expletive added when the children weren’t around to eagerly discuss colour schemes and whether they could put a hammock in it.
This was while my husband and I were still trying to get our diagonals correct in the pegging-out stage of a rectangle. We had managed to create stage 63 of a fiendish cat’s cradle, but still the perfect rectangle eluded us. No holes dug, no concrete mixed.
My husband is a statistician, which to my mind means that he should also be a trigonometrist and shed-layer-outer supreme. But, homemade stakes and broken camping mallet aside, it took him far too long to conquer the string with maths theory to make him a decent contestant for Countdown.
I’m sure that more experienced builders/gardeners will read this with incredulity. But let me tell you, it’s bloomin’ hard even with approximately 30 years of education between us, a bumper ball of string and willing children to hold the ends.