I always wanted my own bolt hole, man-shed… or whatever. It works like Michael McIntyre’s brilliant man-drawer stand-up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgUpDGAIdds
Finally I got me a man-cave. The garage was used as a dumping ground. So I blagged a couple of pallets from the caretaker at work (who said they were the bane of his life), availed myself of the second hand furniture shop and voila: the Man-Cave. All my “stuff” that my wife doesn’t like has a home now. Things that were stored but cherished are now outed. And thanks to the new pallet ceiling, Christmas decorations and camping equipment are now in the new “loft”.
So we have:
- the football that was kicked into the stands when my team won promotion and it was my 40th Birthday that day;
- a photo from 1960 of my dad with his dad on a pebbly beach sitting in striped deckchairs – my grandad in is a three piece suit and tie, my dad in a towel and nothing else but skin is visible;
- artistic souvenirs from Zimbabwe and Trinidad;
- original programs from my first footie match (Arsenal-Chelsea in the 70’s) and my first Aldershot match;
- number plates I have found in Romania and Slovakia, one starting with my initials curiously;
- the enamelled street sign from the road I used to live on in Lyon (that’s another story);
- the shisha pipe I was gifted by my colleagues when I left Jordan;
- my grand-parents’ wedding photo from the 1920’s;
- artwork and fabrics bought in India;
- a model beetle gifted for my 50th birthday;
- candle lighting trinkets from North Africa and Jordan;
- a limited-edition watercolour bought by the parents who clubbed together to buy it from my first teaching position;
- 70’s style wicker furniture from the second hand store (which I also love);
- a hand-painted milk-churn from Slovakia;
- a perfectly rounded oval river-pebble from the Highlands of Scotland;
- a photo of me and my grown-up children at a match;
- as well as one of my daughter and son on the border between Scotland and England with her one-footed in each country and him behind her about to throw a snowball at her (which he didn’t because he knew he’d have gotten his head kicked in) and most of all –
- an engraved slate sign saying “PETE’S MAN SHED – SMOKING AND JAMMING ALLOWED”. A mystery colleague somehow found out about my man-shed and how I can do things in there that I am not permitted to do in the house, like make loud raucous jamming sessions or smoke, things which are definitely not allowed indoors with a young child present, and got the most amazing sign made. Now there is someone who understood.
I love my man-shed.
So is this what “home“ is? A collection of memories that are mostly from when you were far from “home”? I really don’t know. You will have to decide on that one for yourself.
UPDATE: The Man Shed has grown up since I got a job editing online and needed a workspace. She’s been insulated, consolidated and updated since then. Yes, the Man Shed’s chosen pronoun is ‘she’. How on trend am I? Wooden ceiling and everything. In short, she has become an office/jam shed/reading room.
PS: I think this book goes a long way to explaining: https://wordery.com/third-culture-kids-david-c-pollock-9781473657663?currency=GBP>rck=cjI4V1U0NldkNDVvYVBjV0V5ektDWklOaldxK0M2N3VRMFk4aVFKVGphcG4zR2dWT1Jvby9OREg1QWUzUkNaRnFDc0FUcXd6LzNXKzFFSUpkSisyRHc9PQ&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIp_bemLDW2gIVBhwbCh3E-A2cEAkYASABEgJL3PD_BwE