During these recessionary times this government have been promoting the Big Society, which in itself sounds a good thing, but in practice not always practical. Where, sometimes, it can work is with allotment societies who all work to produce garden produce for their home. By sharing resources and ideas they can save money and be more efficient. You will find that on most allotments, in the many 6 x 4 garden sheds, there is a massive amount of gardening tools. Many of these are only used infrequently and lend themselves to being shared. To a certain degree like farmers sharing a combine harvester. By utilising these tools in these garden huts they can all help each other. If there is a building as large as 6X4 then maybe that could be a central distribution point – who knows?
Another way allotment owners can help each other is when they are relaxing in their timber sheds, which appears to be the ‘norm’ if you watch Eastenders, they can talk about what seeds and plants to buy and by combining their needs can save further money on these items. As well as sharing ideas and buying crops to grow the shed plays a great role in giving ‘inner peace’ and relaxation.
I would say that the common old garden shed is a particularly British thing and these sheds can often be just an old ramshackle building made from bits and pieces right through to a very precise regimented look of garden shed insisted on by some allotment societies. These can look good but, to a certain degree, the cluttered personal look of the individual’s garden sheds look more as it should be.
In another scheme residents, keen on gardening, in BUPA care homes are being encouraged to help volunteer to help grow their own fruit and vegetables. By utilising the tools in the sheds at the homes they are able to take part in this project called Community Crops.
This initiative by BUPA feels that this should help the general health of their ‘inmates’ (sorry residents) and will improve their fitness and well being. By the use of the lawnmower, kept dry in the home’s garden building this will help and improve cardiovascular health which must be seen as a good thing. Obviously not everybody can use the lawnmower but most residents are able to plant a few seeds and to be able to tend to them.
Residents in these care homes throughout the country are also encouraging local groups to follow these ideas through by giving them free seeds. With these seeds they are able also to grow their own food.
BUPA’s community affairs assistant, Elisha Gardner (yes, really) said that there are good reasons to get growing. Besides keeping you active, you also get plenty of fresh air as well as getting the enjoyment of eating your own home grown fruit and veg. This campaign was supported by the Prince’s Trust and this means that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds could get involved and to socialise with other generations.
The British man ‘in the street’ is pretty clued up in most aspects of the garden and also tries to get on with most other people. Generally all they want is a quiet life after a hard days work and maybe relaxing in their garden, on the odd warmer days, with a drink and to be able to reflect on the day. They can look around at their garden shed, which is their own little castle, and reflect on the work which has gone into making it as well as the general construction of it. Some are lucky enough to have one as large as 18ft x 8ft but that’s the exception. If it was bought on the web from one of the ‘cheap sheds’ web sites they would probably have had to built it themselves, which can be within most peoples’ capabilities. Or you would find that they would have had it assembled by a shed company, like 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, at no extra charge. This would ensure that the shed was built properly and would come with a proper guarantee on the building ensuring a long life.
What I would find surprising is that any public school boy or Bullingdon Club member would have the inclination, nous (for something so manual) or the wish to build a garden shed. Can you imagine them wishing to make their hands rough from this sort of manual work? I can’t.
This is makes it even more surprising that David Cameron, claims to have constructed a 6X4 shed. He did say it took him as a long time, which I’m sure it would have done, certainly if it was one those cheap sheds available in the large DIY stores or on one of the cheap shed web sites. These tend to come in many pieces which all have to be nailed together with many shed parts having to be cut on site. With pieces of chipboard or OSB panels for the roof AND floor, again in small sections, this would have been a nightmare for him.
He did also claim he had also assembled some IKEA furniture, which went down like a lead balloon as he was addressing staff at a B&Q store in Eastleigh at the time. He was in the town campaigning in the forthcoming by-election back in 2013 caused by the resignation of Chris Hulme, the disgraced, former member of the Tory led Coalition government. The B&Q workers jeered when IKEA was mentioned and David Cameron try to play it down by saying it took him a long while as it was very difficult. He said that his wife was a dab hand at DIY so perhaps she should have built the IKEA furniture and 6X4 workshop shed for him.
In an earlier claim he had said, when asked about whether he had eaten a Cornish Pasty, he claimed he loved a hot pasty. He further said the last time he bought one was, as he remembered, at Leeds station, from the West Cornwall Pasty Company. The choice whether it was a small or large one was the thing he appeared to remember the most. However, when it was pointed out that the this branch of the West Cornwall Pasty Company closed in 2007, a Downing Street spokesman said perhaps he had bought it from a different outlet or maybe even a different part of the country.
It’s rather worrying that the leader of the government at the time has tendencies to forget some of the facts of day to day life but he does have rather a busy job. Besides trying to be a little more diplomatic, or think before he speaks, perhaps he should have used any woodworking skills to try to mend his Cabinet which appeared to fall apart from time to time. A little like those cheap sheds will do.