And what a beautiful shed it was.
Built solely by my step-dad Rae, my shed, or summer-house as we actually called it, was to be my home for the next few years.
Back in 2010 after my relationship of 6 years broke down, I found myself unable to afford to stay in the house we then owned. Reluctantly I moved home, tail between my legs and an overwhelming feeling that somehow I’d failed in life.
Originally I only planned to be there for 6 months; I had it in my head that in this short time I could save enough money to buy a house by myself… LOL. As we all know 6 months really isn’t that long and I soon realised I needed a little bit more time to sort myself out and get my life back on track.
Now, no offence to my Mum and Rae, but living in the house with them just wasn’t working– for any of us. I needed my own space and found myself constantly spending my time in the outdoor office with Sid because he wasn’t allowed in the house. I had my iMac out there to watch endless films on and my dog at my feet, but it was cold and we would often have the electric heater on for hours at a time, putting the electricity bill through the roof!
So Rae came up with the idea of building me a summer-house, like my own private lounge to chill out in during the evenings.
Plan A: The outside lounge.
It was just one room with a tv, one of my sofas from the old house and a kettle for making endless cups of tea. That was it. This also became Sid’s new place to sleep but I still slept in the house.
This was fine, for a few months but as time went on, I just couldn’t sleep listening to Rae snore any longer! Sounds mental, but one, I’m the worst sleeper and two, he would fall asleep downstairs in the lounge which was directly below my room! Yet he wouldn’t go to bed. Omg, the arguments!
So that was it, I bought a double sofa bed, which basically took up the entire space when it was down as a bed, and put it in the summer-house so I could sleep out there. My friends thought it was a tad odd if I’m honest, especially as there was no heating, just one small electric radiator, which was probably just as bad for the electricity bill!
For a while this was fine. I had all I needed, except a toilet but you know, I was sleeping better so what more could I ask for?
Unfortunately, due to being such a light sleeper, Sid couldn’t stay in there with me as his snoring also kept me awake so he was once again sleeping in the office alone. Being the sensitive bull terrier that he is, there were nights when he would get a bad tummy and I couldn’t hear him wanting to be let out to go to the toilet. You know where I’m going with this right? The mess some mornings made me feel so bad for him (and also made me late for work), but leaving the door open meant he’d bark at random cats in the middle of the night and I’m certain the neighbours didn’t appreciate this.
Sid stopped eating properly and I knew he wasn’t happy. He just wanted to be with me as much as possible and every night when I put him away, my heart would break looking at his sad little face. I literally feel so bad thinking back to it.
Plan B: The extension.
I needed a bigger shed. End of discussion.
It took a few months, which is actually really fast considering Rae did this all by himself, but eventually I had another little room added onto the lounge. I bought a single bed, a new smaller sofa and an old antique desk to put my iMac on. I even had a portable toilet in the bedroom– number 1’s only of course.
Think that’s weird? Meh.
It was so perfect and cosy and because I had a door for my bedroom, Sid could sleep in the lounge and I could hear him when he woke up needing the toilet! My life was complete.
I slept out there every day for 3 years. Some days during the winter I’d wake up and open my doors to a decking full off snow. I’d get dressed and tip-toe through the snow in my UGGS to the house where I’d get ready for work.
During the summer months, my Mum would sometimes find me on the roof catching the last rays of the evening sunshine. We’d take wine up there whilst Rae cooked on the BBQ and during those nights, if you went up on the roof, you could just lie there and look at the stars.
During the summer of 2013, when I had two weeks off work due to my undiagnosed Crohn’s Disease, I spent my time drinking tea out of proper tea cups on my little metal table and chairs on my very own decking. It was dreamy, minus the pain in my tummy!
Moving back home at the age of 26 wasn’t something I thought would happen and at times I felt like I’d taken some huge steps backwards, but having the summer-house made all our lives more bearable and I’m so lucky that Mum and Rae agree to build it for me!
Thank you to both of them xxx
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