Sophie Dahl, the super rich model, has invoked fury among many people with her asking for £500,000 to save the garden shed which her father, Roald Dahl, used to write his many highly popular children books in. Sophie and her wealthy husband, Jamie Cullum, a jazz star, are aiming to raise this enormous sum so the 1950’s built garden shed contents can be moved to the nearby Roald Dahl museum. However actor and writer, Nicholas Pegg, wrote on Twitter ‘Top model (& Jamie Cullum’s wife) Sophie Dahl wants us to raise £0.5 million to save her best selling grandpas shed. Am I’m missing something?’ I tend to agree with him. He later went on to post ‘A preposterously wealthy family pleading for cash for its legacy? It sounds like a lost Dahl story’. Another Twitter user also angry tweeted ‘Roald Dahl’s shed needs to be renovated – Sophie could earn that on one modelling job. The Big Stingy Giant’. All classic childen’s stories but surprisingly children were totally banned from this creative area used by the great author.
Whilst there is no need for Sophie to do anything with the shed the fact is that is an obscene amount of money, even more so in these cash strapped times. How on earth can it justify this amount of money on a garden shed workshop, special as it may have been? Dahl wrote in this shed in Basingstoke Buckinghamshire the children’s classics Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Big Friendly Giant, James and The Giant Peach, the Twits among many others.
It has remained untouched since his death in 1990 and inside remains his favourite armchair and old yellow legal pad he wrote on. When writing in pencil, his legs used to rest on a suitcase, which had seen better days, and he used to wrap his legs in a sleeping bag if they got cold. His writing desk wrapped around Roald Dahl and was said to remind him of his days in the Royal Air Force.
The Dahl family say the brick and polystyrene ‘little nest’ is at risk of collapse after all these years. Nobody can go inside so how they expect to save this shed is beyond me. Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity, said that ‘it’s terribly important to save it for years to come’. If that is the case why doesn’t the museum pay for this. Whatever happens its’ unlikely that people will be able to go inside the shed even when renovated, so for that amount of money it could be spent on a replicate which would cost a fraction of the £500,000 being asked for. I understand that the Dahl family are behind the museum which is even more surprising that they are asking for more when the museum is already charging for entrance.
It’s not that the outdoor shed itself will be moved just the interior so what is the point? Spending £500,000 to relocate the inside of the brick shed is ludicrous. Admitted the sheds’ contents will be conserved and a new space will be designed at the museum. Even if the money is raised and the shed removed and rebuilt at the Roald Dahl museum why then should the pubic be charged for viewing the shed when the Dahl family and museum have not spent a penny on this proposed new attraction. Amelia Foster, of the museum did say that the Dahl family had already made a significant financial contribution to the project.
Later on some backtracking was forthcoming stating that they are not holding a begging bowl out but if anyone wanted to donate they could. They said they are more likely to try to get a charitable donation to cover this costs. I’m sure there are many more worthwhile causes than moving a dilapidated old shed for the benefit of the Roald Dahl museum who will then profit from it for their own needs. Makes the story of Garden Sheds for Sale in Basingstoke a little more enticing.
With the latest inclement weather this a reminder of what we should had done to our garden tools and lawnmowers prior to the cold weather arriving. I’m sure it’s the last thing on your mind but come Spring and when you come to dig out your garden tools from your garden potting shed and come to cut the grass for the 1st time you will be pleased you gave it some thought. A while ago recommendations of what you should do was published by many experts, including RatedPeople.com. They suggested strongly that the Autumn would have been the best time to seed a new garden lawn whilst the ground was still warm in Basingstoke. This would allow the seeds to germinate in the garden and enable the young grass plants to gain a hold. If you didn’t do it at that time then you will need to wait until the first signs of Spring are here.
It was also recommended that plants are protected from frost, so that they are not attacked by fungal diseases. If any signs of fungal or mildew appear then the affected areas should be removed and burnt. Do not put on the garden compost heap as this could spread to healthy plants. If you have not protected your plants then it is not too late to do so. Put them in a shady place or in your shed. Alternatively you could cover them with plastic bags leaving the ground around the base of the plants open so water can still get into the soil.
Ensure you remove all weeds from around the plants so they can’t take control in your garden. October was normally the latest month where you would normally do this but this year we have been lucky with some of the warmest Novembers and Decembers on record so you may still have a late opportunity to do this protective work, however, January may have a sting in its tail.
By making the most of this extra opportunity and completing these small jobs you can be sure come the Spring that you will have a head start so you can enjoy the garden and the delights of the summer. It always seems a long way just after the Christmas decorations are put away but before you know the Spring will be here. With Easter also being early this year then before you know it we will be out in the garden enjoying the sunshine and digging the barbecue out of your garden shed.
You also need to ensure that your garden shed is securely locked in Basingstoke as the darker nights make it easier for burglars to gain access unnoticed. Don’t lose your valuable garden tools, lawnmower and bikes from your shed for the sake of a new lock for the shed door.
Have you cleaned your garden tools ready for the Spring or do you worry about that when the Spring comes? Also Easter being early makes me think again – why does the date of Jesus’ death (Easter) change every year when Christmas is always the same date. Why do you think this and does it matter?