I have a thing about sheds. I have done for a long time. When I was little, I went through a phase of trying to persuade my dad to let me clear out the garden shed and set myself a little art studio in there. It never went that far, but I did sometimes squeeze in between the lawn mower and spades and perch with my sketch book in the gloom.
I’m not exactly sure what it is that I like so much about sheds. It probably has something to do with having a little, separate space, away from everything else where I can plot and scheme and think. I also love the idea of walking, come rain or shine, down to a nook at the bottom of the garden. If I believed in fairies, I expect they’d be there too.
Since moving into our house in Cambridge and settling into freelance, home-working life my office is the spare room (although I really want to start calling it my study, or even my studio but somehow I keep on calling it my office). And I’ve dreamed about building a studio at the end of our little garden. I’m sure we could fit one in down there. Our garden is narrow and not-so long, but two houses down our neighbours have a garden studio, built in green wood with a window in the roof. The thing is, we’ve grown to love our garden, we’ve worked hard on transforming it from a featureless expanse of cement blocks and bare soil to a green space with wild pond (complete with a family of frogs) and raised beds where we grow salad and beans.
I couldn’t bring myself to put indoors back into our cherished outdoors space. So I think, for now, I will have to keep on dreaming, plotting and scheming for the day when I will tiptoe down the garden path on my way to work.
Photograph: Eric de Maré. ‘Skyscraper’ fishermen’s sheds, the Stade, Hastings (1956).