We harboured the idea of a shipping container (spot the nautical reference) and between the two of us Nicole and I have seen hundreds online in many states of repair and she has actually inspected three on a building site. We could picture the funky thing on the site, maybe with a flipped up front with a counter and someone serving portions of home grown soup. But that dream ended when we realised we’d need a crane to get it in place. That would cost the earth and involve closing a one way street. So we compromised and looked at endless pictures of identical metal sheds online.
We had received a donation of £300 for a shed so we ordered a green one. It arrived flat-packed in a large box and was surprisingly light for a 6ft x 8 ft building with a floor. We should have smelled a rat and sent it back, but we’re desperate and a nice man called Peter who we’d chatted to through the gate said he’d give us a hand to put it up. That was yesterday.
Things got off to a bad start with Ollie cutting his finger unpacking the panels which meant he had to go to the doctors surgery on the first strike day in 40 years. They gave him a tetanus jab …and then he came back to help.
It really was a great day in so many ways, we had new volunteers who soon worked as a very efficient team, filling the wheelbarrow, running it across the site and filling the containers.
Then a wonderful thing happened – Lashmi (apologies for my phonetic spelling) and Bala from the legendary Taj Mahal restaurant brought the gift of us a lovely hot lunch.
After lunch the shed erection went on, and on.
The panels were wobbly, the fixings were fiddley and the weather turned piddley. Everyone with school-aged children had to leave and the rain began to pour down on us. We left the shed as secure as we could make it and the weather took a turn for the worse. The gales raged all night and I went down to inspect the damage just after 7am.
The shed was all wonky, ripped apart and barely standing and by ten it had fallen down and blown across the site. The weather was still wild, so Peter and I put our gloves on and dragged it to a safe place and piled tyres onto it to stop it blowing away.