Dad’s shed was so big that when it finally came time to dismantle it we borrowed a neighbours chainsaw to slice the structure into manageable chunks. It was like a small house, taking up a whole side of the small garden it squatted in, and had the same damp timber smell all sheds share. The flat roof leaked in a few places, often demanding a speedy repair. Along one side was a large glass window, under which sat the lengthy workbench. At intervals along the length of the bench, were set three separate vices. Dad would use these to hold toys in various states of construction while the wood glue set.

The damp smell inside was overpowered by the odours of varnish and paint whenever an order was due. Pots filled with brushes, bristles up to dry, lined the worktop like hardy desert plants. Wood shavings coated the floor at these times, crunching under foot like autumn leaves. In winter it was too cold in there to work and at the height of summer, the sun would heat the inside, rays magnified through the heavy sheet of glass. Autumn and Spring were when the real work could be done in relative comfort.

Looking now at the space the shed took up in my parents’ garden it seems impossible that such a massive structure could have ever sat there. It simply can’t have been as big as I remember it. Like my childhood memories of my father himself, my recollection of his shed dwarfs the reality it once had.