Saturday, 25 April 2009

Shedman's specially commissioned poem in The Guardian

There's a specially commissioned new poem by Shedman in the Work section of The Guardian today (Saturday April 25th) in honour of all you Shedworkers.

A Doddle

Alan’s in his shed, working away,
away from the children and the washing machine.
His aim, to start a business making Allan keys,
then move to a new factory in Milton Keynes.

Two doors down, in this gentrified terrace
of temporary structures some call shed,
Terence (Terry to his mates) Ferris
dreads the working days, the lonely hours,

spent, like Shami, in the caravan next door,
head inside a screen connected to a world
that’s rarely seen. The benefits of broadband
like Guantanamo without the waterboarding.

Jill, across the road, takes a different tack.
Her online business, run from a log cabin
the size of Slough, hawks holidays in
Moroccan riads and visits every one.

Terence, like his Latin namesake,
watches the newts gambol and
the lark of tits through the window
of the converted garage he did himself

and thinks, ‘You're a wise person
if you can easily direct your attention
to whatever needs it.’ He’s halfway through
the architectural drawing for his client

when the kids get home. Shedworkers rise
as one and insert pittas in the toaster,
praise their children, search for Marmite
in the wrong drawer, then return to work.

©Copyright Shedman 2009 All rights reserved.

If you would like to commission Shedman to write a poem for you or you would like to invite him to take part in your festival or event , get in touch with shedman at shedman.net. Serious shedworkers are also advised to check out Shedworking.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Shedworking children in St Albans

Breakfast and after-school facilities are to be offered in a cabin-style building.

Well, who could be promoting shedworking for children in St Albans of all places? We all know who's to blame for that then, Alex!

Whatever next? Under 8s in shed classrooms. Mind you, if Shedman remembers rightly that's exactly what the annexe at Cherry Orchard School in Handsworth Wood, Birmingham provided in 1956. Google Street View shows you where the old shed classrooms used to stand - slightly to the left.)

View Larger Map ("4 Romulus Close, Birmingham, England. Address is approximate." It says. Those pigeons had better get out of the way.) Shedman remembers collecting spiders' webs in bent loops of privet from those railings the day Russia invaded Hungary and ever after he played anti-totalitarian guerilla games in the playground. And boy, how important it seemed being Milk Monitor, while in Mrs Dawson's and Miss Selwood's classroom (she had a goitre the size of Brazil) the coke stoves glowed and emitted noxious fumes while wee people (in more ways than one) were both comforted and estranged by the dark, creosoted wood that surrounded them.


(Shedman is the proud owner of a Night Mail poster)

Take a look at the Cherry Orchard School website. Shedman has always loved Auden's Night Mail and the pupils at Cherry Orchard have come up with a thoroughly modern rendition. Where Shedman used to be the 'obby horse in Morris dancing or a performer in Miss Lister's fantastical school plays, they're now making vijos!

Night Mail
Night Mail on IMDB