On the mystical delights of having a shed…

May 15, 2012 at 9:08 am (Uncategorized)

Good morning world, I hope wherever you are the sun is shining on you or the moon is bright. Here it’s raining. Hard. Which is nothing unusual – I believe we have had one day of sunshine since the middle of March, and maybe a further two days since March when it hasn’t rained. The south east of England, having had a dry winter, currently has a hosepipe ban in force which seems beyond ridiculous given the constant, heavy rain we’ve had for the past seven weeks.

Since I last wrote here (a shocking number of months ago) so much has happened that it would be difficult to catch up, so I will write about one thing at a time and see if I can coax myself into writing regularly.


Sorry about that. I’m a bit bursty with excitement about it.

Since January when my career break started I’ve been trying to get into a proper writing routine, and failing at it. Writing at home is difficult. The house is empty, but far from quiet: it’s full of jobs screaming at me to get done. Added to which, writing at a desk barely big enough to accommodate my laptop, and sharing an office with the hamster (having been evicted from son’s bedroom because of nightly wheel scampering activities) was just not working for me. So I’ve been spending a lot of time writing in coffee shops, which has been great – but again, not ideal because I need STUFF. I need books and notes and power sockets readily to hand, and I need to spread research out on a desk so I can see it all. I need a whiteboard to scribble on. I need random stuff like a nail file, a hair tie, a clock to time myself with, and you can bet whatever I need won’t be something I’ve taken out to the coffee shop with me.

After much begging and deliberation we decided I could have a shed to write in. This sounds straightforward, right? But it involved a long old process which started back in March (before the rainy season).

We already had a shed in the garden, a big one. A big old one full of stuff and home to several big tube web spiders. Here it is:

ImageOur garden really isn’t very big. That’s pretty much it.

We had to do a lot of work to clear all the Stuff out of the shed. This is the Old Shed nearly emptied. It was full of stuff, and I mean FULL.


before my husband dismantled it. (He’s using the bits to make a new smaller shed for the allotment). By that time the rain had started.


 The new shed was delivered in bits on a Friday, and we had until the Monday to paint the sections which would make up the back of the shed (since it was going to be close to the fence, we wouldn’t be able to paint it once the New Shed was up). Of course, it rained. All weekend. Not only that: we had gale force winds, hail and overnight the temperature went down to just above freezing. My husband, being a genius practical person, constructed a shelter so that we could paint:

ImageWell, we painted… and the paint barely dried, but it was the best we could do. On the Monday, Shed Construction began:



 And finally, after a very wet day outside, we ended up with this:


My Shed, my Shed, my beautiful Shed.

Since then (April 23rd, Shakespeare’s birthday and World Book Night), it has not stopped raining long enough for us to paint the rest of the wood. So it still looks pretty much the same. Thanks to my wonderful friends Tony and Margo, it now has beautiful laminate flooring (they had surplus). We visited Ikea a couple of weekends ago and got the furniture for it – that’s a whole ‘nother story involving an inflatable roofrack and ripping up a curtain in the Ikea car park at 10pm to try and strap the desk top to the roof of my husband’s car, let’s not mention it any further – so now, apart from the electricity supply, the Shed is done.

And today, with the rain outside hammering down, I am writing in it. 


We still have lots to do on it, but for now it is a space I can work in, a space just for me. And today it is enhanced still further by those beautiful roses, a gift from the wonderful Whitstable book group I was lucky to meet last night. Days like today, despite the rain, I feel so lucky. 



  1. Penny toone said,

    Just loved reading about the new shed, it makes me feel I was there sharing this experience.

  2. erinkellyauthor said,

    I have such Shed Envy I can barely type

  3. sueperfluous said,

    Ooh, that’s posh! Hope it inspires you.

  4. Graeme Bosley said,

    Hi Elizabeth, it was so lovely to have you come to our book group last night, it was a brilliant evening thoroughly enjoyed by us all, Graeme

  5. Lisa Cutts said,

    Being an Abba fan, it reminded me of the ‘shed’ they wrote their number one singles in. Ok, it was on an island in Sweden somewhere but they have rubbish weather too.
    Looks fab and I know you’ll write more amazing books in it.

  6. Vikki (The View Outside) said,

    I LOVE your shed!!!! I’m so jealous 🙂


  7. Bonnie said,

    Hello Elizabeth. I just read your book “Into the Darkest Corner”. It has a completely different cover here in Canada. I permanently borrowed it from my daughters book collection, read it and then lent it my friend Joan. Interestingly enough Joan’s sister lives very near you in Kent. I’m going out in the British Columbian rain today to hunt down your latest book.
    I’m enjoying your blog and your story about the shed. It looks like the perfect author’s get-a-way and I shall picture you there in my minds eye writing away with the rain gently falling on the roof.

    • elizabethjhaynes said,

      Hello Bonnie, I’m so sorry for the long delay in replying to you. I am making a New Year’s Resolution to dust the cobwebs off my blog! I’m sure you know this by now (and I am so sorry for the fruitless trip in the British Columbian rain!), but my second book is coming out in Canada in March, so you have a little wait. It’s called Dark Tide over there (Revenge of the Tide here in the UK). Thank you again and lots of love from Kent (it’s still raining) xx

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