16 Jun 2012
How I love my hidey-hole.
I love my shed
Have I mentioned that lately? Well, I'm mentioning it again. I swear to God, this is the best thing we've ever done in this garden, and quite possibly in the house too.
We spend as much time as possible down here each day, pinning a notice on the front door of the house to 'sound your horn' if you turn up, as it's a long trek back up the hill from our situation down here by the ponds.
When we put this thing in, it was really just to have somewhere to sit in the rain for a moment on our daily walk around the garden, and to store tools so we didn't have to lug them back up to the piggery constantly. We - well I - were thinking originally of a caravan, but I'm very glad now that we settled on this 10m2 log cabin affair instead.
In here we now have my old metal daybed, which takes up most of one wall, a teak recliner and a drop-leaf table, a rack of shelves and some coat hooks. I've furnished it with striped blue and white shower curtains (thank you, Lidl) to keep off the worst of the sun, and we laid a floor of beige concrete slabs which I then waxed for an easy-clean finish.
Although we sit here all day long with the double doors pinned back, our next step will be to install an extra window, both for more light and to allow some through-draught (we also need to install a couple of ventilation grilles, as it's stifling when the temperature picks up).
The complete openness with the doors pinned back makes me think of Japanese houses - that lack of barrier between inside and outside - especially as my view is of acers, willows and bamboo, for this area was 'the Japanese Garden' long before we decided to put the ponds in. Yesterday we sat here in torrential rain, which was utterly beautiful and only added to the Oriental atmosphere (I might install rain chains. With bells on…).
It's hard to describe quite why this place is so enchanting. Much of it is accidental. We put the cabin here because this is where the ponds are and becuase it's one of the rare flat areas in the garden. But its location at the far reaches of the orchard, out of sight of the house, makes this place extraordinarily private and silent. We're bordered on one side by a high laurel hedge, and because of the slope of our land are simply not visible from anywhere else.
We can't get wifi or electricity down here either (too far from the house), which means you have to make quite an effort to go pick up email, etc. That gives us a feeling something like being on holiday as we sit here, even though we're actually working.
It's also warm. Again this is an accident, as we turned the building to face southwest for the best view, not for the best light, but the large door, single storey, black roof and wooden construction means it heats up at the first glimmer of sunshine, which simply doesn't occur with the 2ft-thick stone walls on the main house. In really hot weather, I expect it'll be insufferable, but in the rubbish spring and early summer we've been having, the cabin's been a much pleasanter place to be than the house.
For when it's cold I have a big fluffy throw. For when it's hot I have a yukata to change into. A big pile of cushions, a big pile of books, a jar full of toffees, a big mirror on the back wall, spare straw hats, cleaning materials and some gardening equipment make up the rest of our accoutrements in here.
Other than that, it's just us, the dog, the cats and the odd visiting dragonfly. It's just the best place to be that the world ever invented.