02 December 2011

The Garden Shed - Excavations

(A view of garden sheds in the area - ours is barely visible on the right, after years of growing things up it!)

OK, so Mrs Beeton's suggestion for the domestic work on a Wednesday was cleaning the best bedrooms and the windows, but this week we did something a little different. With help from our friend Tom, we emptied the garden shed: very exciting, not, surely? Well, no, but we were not without some trepidation about what we might find in the way of inhabitants...many rodents in this area, and quite a few foxes, for starters.

What's more, we knew there was a hole in the back wall of this historic edifice (complete with asbestos roof, natch) and over the last year the shed has filled up with some four or five inches of soil/compost, as though something were nesting within. Hmmmm. And as is the traditional way with garden sheds, it wasn't exactly clutter-free. We took out two bicycles (Keith's with a chunk out of one wheel!), two bookcases, tins and tins of old paint/ wood sealer/ paint stripper/ barbecue fuel, three thousand (well, that's what it felt like) flowerpots, an oil lamp, assorted bits of watering equipment, six (or was it seven?) defunct pond pumps, a pond hoover (yes, there really are such things), hanging baskets, a quantity (as the auction houses say) of hosepipe, an assortment of garden tools (including a probably 1930s rake we inherited with the house), wooden shelving, and a seemingly infinite supply of deteriorating bags of sand, gravel, grit, cement, cat litter etc.

But in fact all we found by way of creature was one dead rat - and quite enough too, I hear you say. Could have been much worse, of course - but the real acid test will be when we take the edifice down and find anything that may be nestling underneath (see rodents, foxes etc above). Tom's comment was "That was a good job we did there. Of course there's just one trouble with having started it - we have to finish it!".

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