Starcat 1 by my favourite artist

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Roald Dahl and I

This week I suddenly realised that I share quite a lot with Roald Dahl. Being crotchety old men and possessing infinite depths of grumpiness apart, we also share certain tastes in the accommodation department.

Apparently Roald Dahl would breakfast in his house and then retire to a shed at the bottom of the garden to do his writing.

I now live in a shed at the bottom of the patio of a Maltese Countess' rather palatial house here in Seville. Perhaps this needs a bit of clarification. I am renting a granny flat (perhaps that should be potential grandpappy flat!) from a very good friend of mine. 

And a jolly good flat it is too. I have WiFi, a bathroom and bed-sitting room. It is all very snug and has met with the full approval of my youngest daughter who is dying to stay over one weekend.

I have always had a soft spot for sheds at the bottom of the garden. My mother bought me one for my 21st birthday and I loved sitting down there on rainy nights drinking tea, reading and listening to Radio 4. Now, over 30 years later I am able to repeat the experience. I am extremely fortunate. 


  1. Roald Dahl had his shed and Charles Dickens his Swiss Chalet (now sited at Eastgate House in Rochester). Writers need peace and quiet to do their work, especially Dickens, who habitually worked to a hectic schedule that would have floored lesser men, but I think we all periodically need time to ourselves for rest and reflection and the shed on the allotment or at the bottom of the garden serves this purpose for many men.

    I have never owned a shed myself but there was one in the garden of our house in Brighton and this always fascinated me. I could rarely go inside, however, as my mother kept coal in it.

    Similarly, I am attracted to railway signal boxes as this seems to be an ideal combination, a way of taking your shed to work with you!

  2. Moisés, vendedor de biblias9 February 2013 at 20:21

    Que envidia, la verdad es que esos cobertizos son muy atractivos. En esta misma línea también me parecen seductores los torreones y más aún los faros aislados donde, como dice Silver Tiger, puedes compaginar vivienda y trabajo.

  3. I heartily agree with you both on the subject of good places to live, though I would also like to nominate canal lock-keepers' cottages. Usually they come with outhouses to keep your coal, bikes tec., some land to grow veg. - and if you're lucky, a good shed.
    Like Silver Tiger, though, I think there must be nothing more romantic than a signalbox (preferably on a little-used line).