Head to the Shed for the Idler magazine

The Idler asked me to write a piece for its website on the garden shed as a sanity-saving oasis at this time of lockdown. Here's the opening:
People often talk about sheds as sanctuaries. At the moment, that’s especially true. “We see sheds as an escape most of the time,” agrees Uncle Wilco, founder of the Shed of the Year competition, “but right now they really are proving to be a oasis.”
Sheds are now performing all kinds of functions. People who don’t normally work from home are suddenly discovering the attraction – I’ve watched musicians perform concerts from inside their garden studio, auctioneers turn their garden sheds into salerooms, and national television broadcasters host their shows from their timber retreats.

As shedworking photographer and writer Chris Routledge who lives in the north west of England puts it: “It’s going to be a long summer. Keeping work and home life separate is always a good thing, but our shared garden office is now being used as a studio for video conferencing. It’s providing the constant, professional atmosphere that you need to stay productive, as well as a place to get some peace and quiet when your treasured lockdown companions have decided to entertain themselves with ukelele lessons.”

Photo: Chris Routledge