Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Men and Sheds

I've always been fascinated by the way that men need to have sheds (or workshops).   I can remember both grandfathers and their sheds, and my father, and various uncles and other men in my life.  I didn't think that this would be something that my Turkish husband would crave.  I was wrong...this phenomenon is truly international.

Whilst I was searching for a suitable pic for this post, I discovered that there's actually a book on the subject called "Men and Sheds".   This description of the book pretty much sums it up:

"It has been said that a shed is to a man what a handbag is to a woman - both contain all the essentials for surviving in the modern world and in the same way that no decent man would ever consider looking in a woman's handbag uninvited, so no reasonable woman would dream of setting foot in a man's shed."

Because of the torrential rain that has been with us since Saturday (and continues as I write), Mr A has been unable to do much of the planned work on the perimeter wall and the garden.  He informed me that he would spend the time knocking down the side wall of the front of the old house in the garden so that he would have somewhere to put his motorbike for the winter. 

He spent the best part of yesterday out there, knocking down the wall, banging and hammering away to his heart's content.

When I called him in for dinner, he said he was busy so could he have it on a tray?  I handed him the tray over the balcony and off he went.

Finally at around 6pm before it got dark, I went outside to investigate.   And that's when I discovered that shelter for the motorbike was just a small part of his plan.  

The motorbike takes up a small space in the corner of the "room".  He has transformed the rest into his own little sanctuary.   He has fixed a large board to an entire wall, painted it, added hooks and nails which now hold his tools.  In the far corner are two shelves for other tools, odds and ends.   He has made a workbench from old bits of wood, which doubles up as a table, and that's where I found his dinner tray.

He added a small gas bottle and trivet and asked if he could have our old Turkish teapot to brew up his çay, which I duly found, together with çay glasses, tea and sugar.   And he has a wire running from an extension lead in the house which allows him to use his drill and also to plug in a light bulb.

I have never seen him so happy.  He's like a child at Christmas.  I never would have believed it!


  1. The shed instinct does, indeed, appear to be universal. We have a studio flat in our basement. There is definite intent to turn it into a shed, assuming we get our military permission and get to actually own the place. (Hilary)

  2. Hi Hilary: Ooh I could think of lots more exciting uses for the studio flat couldn't you?

    (By the way, the more you describe your house, the more I'm thinking it's the one owned by an old friend of mine..An English woman? I may be totally wrong of course)

  3. Oh yes, the equivalent of a handbag - I so agree. Can't find anything I want in it, ever, but he still claims he can lay his hand on anything immediately.

  4. Hi Rosie. Well I've put up with Mr A's tools and other junk all over the house since we moved here and he is always asking me where things are. So I can now see the advantage of the shed. All his things in one place so he has to take responsibility for them!

  5. Oh, the basement is for the motorbike. We don't think we'll be able to bring the Harley over but will probably buy a high end bike here and it will need to be kept off the street.
    I may get a small corner if I ever aquire a sewing machine..
    This place does belong to an English woman - quite possibly the same person. It is a very small world (and Selcuk is not exactly massive).

  6. Hilary, if it has a roof terrace with gazebo, plus another small house in the garden as well as the studio flat, then I would think it's the one?

  7. i am not a man of craft, so a shed doesnt appeal me. but give a cozy study, yes, thats a whole different story.

  8. It does sound like the same place.

  9. jedilost: A study is kind of the same thin really isn't it? Somewhere to escape!

    Hilary: Well I just checked the photos on your recent post and I do recognise it. Isn't it a small world! And to think we met through blogging! I love your house..always did and if we had stayed in Selçuk I would have loved to have bought it if we could have afforded to. I'm sure you will be very happy there xx

  10. Mr.Fly has just evicted the pig to a further outbuilding and moved his overflow of junk...sorry, essential to the sty, having filled the bodega...
    He is very happy.
    Pig is puzzled.

  11. There you are Fly...these men will find themselves a shed wonder the pig is puzzled!

  12. While we don't have a shed, my husband has taken over the garage. I think men need these little spaces to feel some control in their lives since we "woman" are usually the ones who decorate our homes.

  13. I think you have a point there Kelleyn x

  14. actually thats right. i dont really have a vote when it comes to decorating the apartment.

  15. I'm happy that Mr. Ayak is so excited about his's funny because my neighbour just yesterday ordered this huge shed for his garden...why I don't know he has a 3 car garage. Well he told my husband he's going to put a mini bar and sofa in there and in time a TV......and a fridge for his beer. So I guess Men and Sheds do go together.

    I love your Blog I look forward to it everyday about your life in Turkey. One of these years I too am moving there but for only 6 months of the year and that for sure won't be in the summer months with that heat. Have a great day.... :-)))

  16. Thankyou for your kind words about my blog Erica. I also look forward to your comments. I think living here for 6 months of the year is a good idea...and yes I would avoid the heat of July and August definitely!

  17. Hi there! I was just searching for reputed blogs on Turkey and find yours. I have to say I enjoyed reading your posts and looking at the photos of your cute grandsons :-)

    Well, I'm writing here because I'm thinking on fleeing the harsh Bulgarian winter and travel to beautiful Turkey to a warm and nice spot.

    These last days I was busy searching on the web houses for rent in the area of Antalya, Mugla, Fethiye... It is indeed a tricky tast as there are son many web sites with tourist prices. And when I finally found some Turkish sites they were all rather dull, obsolete and hard to navigate through.

    I wonder if you or somebody who reads this can please help me, does anybody know any efficient and serious rental agents or some way to get a nice house for a reasonable prize? We are looking for a small or medium sized villa for a 6 months period, from November untl April or March. I understand the area of Antalya and Mugla have mild winter temperatures. Anybody knows some other warm areas in Turkey to spend the winter?

    Well, thank you for letting me comment this on your blog. Hope Poppy recovers soon!


  18. Hi Julieta and a warm welcome to my blog. Thankyou for your nice comments and your good wishes for Poppy.
    The areas you mention are mild during winter, but as you might have notıced from recent posts we do get a lot of rain and storms during the winter month. However, if you can put up with that, we also get some beautiful sunny days too.
    I don't know of any rental agents offhand but if I come across anything I'll put it here in the comments on this particular post and hope you can pick it up.
    I do have followers of my blog who also live in Turkey so maybe they will know more than I do.
    You could also search expat forums for specific areas. Eg Kusadasi area has a forum called which will probably have lists of rentals for that area.
    Good luck with your search xx

  19. Ah, we boys need our 'me' time and private moments. My dad had a shed. My mum reckons he kept his smutty mags in it. She didn't mind!

  20. Jack, I think my dad used his to escape from my mum!

  21. Many thanks for your advises.
    Wish you a nice weekend :-)
    and also for poor Poppy

  22. You're very welcome Julieta and thankyou. You have a good weekend too xx

  23. From the author of Men and Sheds - Google alerted me to your blogging. You may like to know that the book in question has sold almost 150,000 copies, which demonstrates the eternal truths therein, and that its sequel, The Pocket Guide to Sheds, is now out and contains women.
    Best wishes from Gordon Thorburn

  24. Hi Gordon and a warm welcome to my blog. It's a fascinating subject and I will be getting a copy of the book well as the Pocket Guide to Sheds. I notice that you have written other books that have sparked my interest, so these too will be added to my list.

    Thanks again for dropping by xx

  25. My DH has never been satisfied with just a shed, I'm afraid. I have a small one for my gardening tools, while he has a workshop at the end of the house and an entire big barn for all his stuff! Sigh....

  26. Hmm...that sounds a little excessive Perpetua. Takes men and sheds to a whole new level!


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