A Shed Story: 27 into 5 Does Not Go

Notwithstanding all the emotions involved the hardest part of moving several thousands of miles to a new country is what you take with you. Many people who undertake moves of this distance move en-masse as a family, often with the assistance of an outside agency such as work that will ultimately pay for your removals and help you through the last frantic months in one location and assist you at the other end. Large organisations have their own relocation services, either their own in-house or a specialist company contracted to do the same.

My problem was considerably magnified by the fact that I was moving from 27 rooms worth of house in the UK – full of my parent’s and grandparent’s furniture, paperwork and ephemera, the leftovers from two previous partners and approximately 20 years of assorted junk my kids had “left” behind when they moved out — to a five roomed cottage in Portugal where there is no room to swing a cat.

In the end, that fact actually became my saving grace – I ended up moving about 600 cubic feet of prized possessions. It boiled down to some furniture that had been in my family for years and special possessions — very much as we discussed here — give or take a few.

My next problem was, of course, what to do with my worldly goods when they arrived here in Portugal.

Mr P solved the problem – we would turn the dirt floored, corrugated iron/asbestos roofed construction that housed the lawn mower, sacks of wood, enough junk to put me to shame and which doubled as the cat maternity ward into “my space.” I loved the gesture, his understanding that at times I might need space or just a change of scenery. So here, in pictures is our first joint project together. These are the before pictures — quite a challenge as you can see.

The first job to be done was to empty it completely and to remove all the bugs and assorted insect life along with the wasp’s nest and the mice.

Next we sealed the floor with concrete and replace the roof.

Then we had to remove the front so we could lay patio tiles on the floor. This was the cheapest and most practical solution for our purposes. All my art and craft materials would be in here, here is where I was going to have space to paint, use glue and indulge in other incredibly messy activities. It had to be washable.

All done and ready to paint:


Finished result after electrics had been put in along with lights and all my precious belongings.

This project was important in many ways — I learnt so much about myself and Mr P and how we work together as a team and what talents we both bring to a given situation. Before I moved here and before I met him I would never have tackled such an undertaking.

Ironically the shed has not been used in anger – I have never needed space from him — it has been used to create all kinds of fun projects and the cats love coming to sit with me while I work in there.