Monday, November 28, 2011

the faraway shed

I have a falling down shed at the bottom of my garden.

Well that sounds a lot more grandiose than it is. The “garden” is a small backyard. The “shed” is a brick, wood and possibly asbestos structure that’s slowly being reclaimed by the elements. It’s a dusty, dirty and in parts damp, white elephant taking up far too much precious inner-city space.

Apart from discarded items earmarked for a mythical garage sale, it’s home to the bikes, old accounts and dead computers. The drier, lighter front section was the NB’s studio. When the weather was neither too hot or too cold, it served the purpose admirably.

The other week, grabbing my bike to commute to a meeting on a spectacular evening, I noticed the sun streaming perfectly onto a recently discarded chair. The next sunny afternoon I hatched a plan and the reading space was born.

You see, despite having a “room of my own”, a house actually, my attention is so often hijacked by technology. Anywhere my wireless goes, my smart phone or laptop begs for attention. How often does a quick online task turn into a long journey down the rabbit hole?

With a pile of books from the library begging to be read, I’ve begun slipping away to the shed late in the afternoon. With the light streaming in and a ridiculously comfortable chair (despite the stuffing escaping in spots), reading a chapter of a book has never been so inviting. I can’t hear the door, phone and conveniently the shed is a 3G dead spot. Perfect.

And sure it’s dirty but even the dust motes remind me of a much-loved cubby I escaped to as a child. It was a roughly assembled platform a good 10 feet up a solid tree, plywood walls and a bit of discarded corrugated iron for a roof, that had been loving assembled by the boy next door’s father. We’d hide up there for hours, reading books like The Faraway Tree, enthralled in the magical world of Enid Blyton.

Like that childhood cubby, the seasons will change and the slant of sun on the chair will shift. I’ll find a new reading spot and the dusty chair will be forgotten.

But for now I love my childhood and adult worlds colliding. And time to read? A ridiculous luxury in this digital age!

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Anonymous Lucy said...


how incredibly lovely, such a beautiful post.

i am more and more often finding myself in those tech-free spaces, avoiding 'modern life' and the desire to be down those rabbit holes.

reading in a comfy chair, in a shaft of delicious late-spring melbourne sun...bliss.

10:55 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

It's all about the light :)

2:05 pm  
Anonymous Helen said...


5:52 am  
Blogger Clyde said...

Must pick up The Magic Faraway Tree again one day. Loved it as a child with its yellow cover (I think) denoting it from the other one with the green cover, another Enid Blyton that may have been the book after TMFT?

7:58 pm  

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