There is no higher compliment one man can pay another than this: “Do you want to come and see my shed, mate?”
Henry Cole, host of The Motorbike Show, Junk & Disorderly, Find It Fix It Flog It and Shed & Buried, introduces readers to the joy of sheds. In his new book, which is out next Thursday (17th September), Henry introduces the idea that a shed is a place to sit, a place to fettle and a place to stash, a spiritual refuge and a state of mind. From construction to maintenance, from foundations to roof to damp-proofing in between (“nobody wants rusty nuts”), here is all the practical information you need to start your own shed odyssey, delivered in Henry’s inimitable style.
“Your shed is your refuge. You need to make that pilgrimage to the bottom of the garden. Whether you’re walking down a muddy track or crunching along a gravel path... Breathe in the fresh air. Then pull open the door, grapple for the light switch, fire up the heaters and turn on the kettle. You’re the king in there.”
Henry covers everything from achieving that musty, oily shed smell (if you know, you know) through shed security and style to socialising (is it a one cuppa shed, or are you happy for invited mates to linger?).
"Sheds are about endeavour. They’re about restoration and preservation: spiritually, mentally and physically. They’re the place where old things get a new lease of life, and where new things – the motor, the light bulb, the telephone – are invented. You can make mistakes in a shed, and that’s where creativity begins, with experimentation and a whole lot of simple tinkering. (And don’t forget the complex etiquette of shed tea!)"
THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF SHEDS by Henry Cole is published by Quercus in hardback