The men’s shed

men's shed

men’s shed

Why don’t you go and visit the men’s shed? You seem to be taking naps all the time. Each time I come down you are asleep. Have you taken your thyroid tablet? I hear that men’s sheds are taking off everywhere. It might help with your gloomy moods. You might meet a nice man.

This à propos a conversation last week with H when the rain would not stop. The sky was grey. A perfect match for my mood. Yet the day before when the sky was just as grey, I felt ready to tackle the world, I even undertook a trip to Woolies to take advantage of a wine offer. Two bottles for the price of one. It is odd when I know that those sort of offers are just so much scam. Why do I still fall for that? Considering I pride myself on having some business acumen? No wonder their profit was up yet another 16% with mugs like me lurking around.

Shops now sell goods in multiples. Two loaves of bread cheaper than one. Six scissors for the price of two. Even two scissors for one is silly. I can only cut with one pair or eat only one loaf of bread at the time. Alas, consuming has to be sped up, faster, faster and more of it. All of it in vacuum sealed packages that are so hard to open you need secateurs. No worry, three of them for the price of one. We now have two jars of scissors on the kitchen bench with three secateurs.

Aldi’s sells the most mouth-watering packets of tools and tool accessories. I bought a box of Phillip screwdriver heads, not Phillip screwdrivers, no just the heads. Show me a Phillips screw, and boy am I prepared. I have a head for every conceivable Phillips screw. It is nice to be so secure in the world of Phillips screws. I noticed in their latest catalogue there is a special on a box of allen keys as well. Must rush out and get one. One can never have enough allen keys.

I did look up the local men’s shed. It has a kind of spiritual aura about it with the land and shed donated by the help of the local church. The past meetings all recorded on the internet does mention The Lord and other hints of a higher being ready to offer salvation. I am not sure if I haven’t left salvation a bit late but am happy to go to an even better place with even more boxes of exotic screw heads, allen keys, and extra loaves of bread. I suppose for many men, heaven could not be much better than a gigantic type of Bunnings Hardware with a Lions club tent of barbecued sausages (with mustard, tom/barbecue sauce) available at any time of the day and night.

I’ll think about joining the men’s club. Their web-side has photos of blokes (the men are called blokes in this shed) busy with making things of wood or metal. There is a smaller shed for blokes with internet problems. I could do with some help with the torture that Windows 8.1 has involved me in. It is so complicated with the screen changing as soon as I move the mouse off-screen. Everything is so much Internet/electric torture and difficult now-a-days.

I feel I need a shed just for my own blokey self. That’s what it has now come to. It would have a divan, a bookshelf and a coffee grinder machine. Perhaps with a bit of ply-wood and my Aldi tools I could fashion a nice little wooden box, paint it an egg-shell beige. I could than think about what I would put in the box.
Perhaps my collection of Phillips screw heads? Things are looking up!

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17 Responses to “The men’s shed”

  1. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    I laughed all the way through this. I have inexplicable grey days, but I am not a bloke – I had better get my greenhouse up. In the meantime I am managing to waste hours and hours of time collecting pebbles. This is because many years ago I wasted money on multiple bags of them to make a decorative base under rhododendron tubs, then years later, when that didn’t work out I laboriously piled them in a corner – which I now need for the greenhouse. Over the years they have buried themselves deep in the earth, but I am too mean not to try and rescue them pebble by pebble. It’s remarkably therapeutic work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, sooner or later a good garden will re-claim all. I have a ladder that’s being reclaimed. It is on the roof of my little shed. The Jasmin has now taken it, strangling it. I have given up trying to wrestle it away from the Jasmin.
    Keep at the pebbles Hilary. Don’t give in.

    Like

  3. rod Says:

    We don’t have men’s sheds here, and if we had I’d give them a body swerve. As for Woolies, it went bust here years ago, yet with you it seems to making good money.

    If I were in retail I’d start selling two for the price of three: I’m sure it would work.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Woolies is doing very well here. They have a virtual monopoly together with another giant of a supermarket, Coles.
      People shop in a kind of trance now, hypnotised by the adv. Totally immersed in ‘specials’.

      Like

  4. Patti Kuche Says:

    You mean it’s a communal men’s shed? I thought the whole idea of the shed is it is your turf and your’s alone. I’d like one for myself with much the same on the list as yours!

    Like

  5. Andrew Says:

    BOGOF. Buy one, get one free. Its all the rage, Gerard. Rage being the appropriate word. I don’t have a shed but I have a study or retreat. I don’t want to share it with others. I want to be a curmudgeon in peace. I can think of nothing worse than some other bloke going on and on about his screwdriver heads😉 when all I want to talk about is cameras.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, there is nothing like a curmudgeon all inside own shed with cameras and lenses all in their own compartments. There is something about being surrounded by all kinds of things that click and clang and being away from domesticity and washing up liquid, tea towels and the threat of a looming vacuum cleaner.
      Yes, own shed with a chair and lots of wood shavings and dust on the floor, perhaps even an old violin on the wall with broken strings.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I’ve not seen any of these tantalizing offers in Spain. In the UK the buy one, get one free is generally for things or brands that I don’t normally buy which then sets up a terrible dilemma and adds hours to the shopping time. Do I? Don’t I buy that brand of toothpaste that I don’t much like if only to get another tube for free? see the problem? but back to sheds. I’m not sure that I would want to share a shed with other people, but I’d love to have a shed of my own. My brother-in-law runs his successful design company from his garden shed and another friend a writer and journalist, does most of his great thinking and writing from his. My ‘shed’ is an old donkey stable complete with stone manger. I’m longing to get in there and use it as my work room but first I need a table and a chair and Irish has commandered all the available furniture for his study, the rat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The men’s shed in Australia is an attempt at lowering male stress and frightening levels of self harm amongst men. Blokes keep it all in with a stoical refusal to talk the real talk and let it all out. The tears are dried into salt and so much dust. They rather punch the wall, each other or worse. We have to learn to let it out and even cry with real tears. Easier said than done!

      I am not sure if I would let it out and cry amongst lots of men. Perhaps on a woman’s shoulder but a bloke? I am not so sure. I have a good ‘letting out’ through my lovely readers and articles

      I have a small shed and do some screwing there but not with a phillip😉 . I need a good solid bench.

      Like

  7. berlioz1935 Says:

    I would not go into a men’s shed for quids. A hardware store is not a world I enter without trepidations. It smells of work and activities only “real” men can do; like plumbing and digging, putting together and erecting, fixing and repairing. And then they can talk about it endlessly. When at the local ALDI store I can see men often look at tools with a funny look I would reserve for naked women. They are touching the tools with care and appreciation they would never do with a woman. I like book stores and Office Works.

    Why men don’t discuss matters with their wives, mothers or sisters? The female perspective would help them to look at things other then from the point of a misunderstood other male. Friends are good and one does not need many. But a shed full?

    Men used to go to the pub and have a beer and talk with a mate there or the bar maid would lend her ear. One can’t have a quiet beer any more with the tingling of the poker machines in the background.

    If I have a problem I’m sending an email to my my wife sitting in the next room. Just joking🙂

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that’s what I think too. I would rather confide in a good friend than in a shed full of men. I mean with machinery and tools making a noise, I would have trouble being heard.The idea of ‘men’s shed’ came about to alleviate depression amongst men.
      I am not so sure I would not rather express my feelings to women rather than men. My first port-o-call would be my dear H.
      I suppose countries were feelings are more expressed openly with people generally emotionally more at ease have less problems with depression. They shout, rave and rant and let it all out in the open.
      Here we live entire lives behind blinds and fences with obsessive ideas about ‘privacy’, so, perhaps that’s why we suffer as a consequence.
      The stiff upper lip. Keep it all to ourselves!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. petspeopleandlife Says:

    A “men’s shed.” I’ve never in my life heard of such but then I don’t get out and around like most people. Maybe there are some here and I don’t know of them.

    I’m more or less reclusive and only get out if need be. I like being alone. Gives one more peace to miss and remiss 🙂 about the past and what I should be doing to be a better human being.

    I like this post a lot, Gerard and found that you have now added a “special addition” to your blog. I liked it so much I ended up liking comments by Andrew, Lottie, and I think a comment by you was in the mix- but maybe not. I have no time to go back and look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yvonne,
      I always enjoy reading your posts. I am surprised that sheds are not popular where you live.
      Yes, men’s sheds are popular here. The idea is that men will be more at home with other men in a shed than elsewhere. It’s aim is to give an opportunity to share common interests and also alleviate depression that men might suffer from. Some of those sheds are used by men doing things for others. Repair bicycles or make children’s toys etc.
      Australia has always enjoyed a culture of men in sheds. Don’t ask me why, it just is.
      I am not aware of women in sheds. Women are perhaps much more intimate with each other and talk, are more animated. Men often just grunt a bit or say hmm, or yea, yea and keep it in.
      My shed is full and has only room for one. I can only stand upright in my small shed which is tiring and gets lonely.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    What a grand idea! Some people set up a “Man Cave” in the garage or wherever, where they can smoke cigars, play poker etc. The shed seems more appropriate.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I walked past a man’s shed yesterday and noticed a lot of men filing in. The shed had a roller door to give it authenticity. I am working up Dutch courage to try it out next time. I am not sure yet. I’ll practise holding a hammer or screwdriver at home first.

      Like

  10. Ted.Wilson@beyondblue.org.au Says:

    I really enjoyed your article, Gerard. Very funny. I work on The Shed Online. We are looking for contributors for our Member articles section (http://www.theshedonline.org.au/articles). I was wondering whether you may be interested in writing a series for us on your experiences on joining a Men’s Shed (if you decide to try one out that is)? Unfortunately we do not offer money for articles but I think it might be valuable for our members to have someone with your flair for writing describe the experience. It may help boost your Blog’s profile as well. Anyway, just a thought anyway.

    Like

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