Summer is the time of year people move their daily activities outdoors and into the garden. More and more people have realised they can create an entirely new living space in their gardens when utilising a patio, deck, and/or a garden shed to maximum benefit. In fact, garden sheds are not only for storing garden tools and lawn equipment anymore. In addition to this being used for such practical purposes, sheds are also becoming garden get-a-ways, social gathering places, and even offices and art studios. While these uses may not be all that surprising, there are some people who have gone to places in their sheds that most people would never ever think of in their wildest dreams. Children are usually the ones who are able to use their imaginations to inspire the stories you are about to read, but it just proves you only have to be a child at heart to be inspired by imagination. In the first story one man takes his garden shed to outer space, while in the stories that follow include travelling garden sheds; one on the road and one on the seas. Enjoy your adventure into the imagination.
Out of the Ordinary
Imagine travelling to the stars from your own garden shed. That is exactly what one amateur astronomer did by creating a homemade telescope in his garden shed. Not only did Dave Grennan build his own telescope, even polishing the lenses himself, but he also has discovered rare supernovas from this humble garden shed observatory. Located in Dublin, the significance of Grennan’s discoveries is amplified by his success rate of finding these stars because Ireland only has six to twelve clear skies per month on average. Furthermore, the night sky is too bright to search for these objects from the month of May to the month of August. Grennan’s discoveries have been confirmed by the International Astronomical Union. He has been making discoveries like these, including a minor planet three metres-wide asteroid, since 2008. Pick up an affordable telescope and you too can take a trip to the stars with family and friends from your own garden shed.
This next story literally takes the garden shed and puts it on wheels. In 2015 two friends from Flintshire decided to complete the Barmy to Barcelona challenge in a vehicle disguised to look like a garden shed. Jay Miotti and Gwyn Graham took on this wacky challenge to raise funds for charity. Miotti’s charity, the Flintshire Mind, is one that aims to support people, as well as their families, who are dealing with mental health related issues. Graham’s charity, Awyr Las Gogledd Cymru – Blue Sky North Wales, is one that helps young children who are living with diabetes. The two dressed themselves up as sunflowers and took their £300 Ford Ka garden shed from Chester down to the Euro Tunnel before embarking on the journey to Spain. Miotti and Graham made their way through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and finally to Spain. Throughout their trip they posted updates via social media and in the end they took their travelling garden shed over nineteen hundred miles. This story and the one to follow show that garden sheds are more than just for storage; they are a place to experience and enjoy life.
It may have seemed a bit odd and maybe even a bit crazy to take a car disguised as a garden shed on the road, but probably not so crazy when you consider taking a garden shed to sea. At eighty-four years old the ancient mariner known as Anthony Smith decided to take a voyage across the Atlantic in what equates to a garden shed. Smith had a dream tracing back to his childhood to mimic the journey of the survivors of a Merchant Navy sinking. Smith had been on many adventures during his life, but this would be the pinnacle. The idea of a raft voyage idea was inspired by a book given to Smith as a child by his father called “Two Survived”. The book was a true story about a Merchant Navy ship named the Anglo-Saxon being sunk by a German warship in 1940. It happened just off the Canary Islands with forty-one men aboard. Only seven of the men survived the sinking to the lifeboat. However, after weeks floating on the sea some of the men opted for suicide due to starvation and the pain associated with such an experience. For seventy days the lifeboat drifted until it ran aground the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas with only two surviving sailors. Smith and his crew set upon building a raft pieced together mostly by using sections of thick plastic piping that supported wooden planking atop which set a corrugated steel cabin (garden shed) and a telegraph pole for the single billowing sail. This is one garden shed story you must read more about to understand what an adventure it truly was for Smith and his mates.