Will’s World: I’ve discovered the joy of the ‘man shed’

Being a father of four daughters has been a learning experience, to say the least.

Over the past 13 years I’ve had make-up daubed on my face, my hair styled and fingernails painted.

I’ve sorted out countless Barbie doll-based emergencies, read thousands of bedtime stories where the main character is a mermaid, princess or fairy, and been one of the very few middle-aged dads in attendance at a Little Mix concert (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – Shout out to my Ex is an absolute banger live).

See also: What’s in Your Shed? visits a Yorkshire arable farm

About the author

Will Evans
Farmers Weekly Opinion writer
Will Evans farms beef cattle and arable crops across 200ha near Wrexham in North Wales in partnership with his wife and parents.
Read more articles by Will Evans

I’ve also gained several new skills. I can do a very passable French plait with only minutes to spare before leaving for the school run.

I can competently judge, when requested, whether various items of clothing go together or not.

I can pack a vehicle quickly and efficiently with numerous suitcases and bags (the Evans girls do not travel lightly), and I’m pretty sure I could give the world’s best terrorist negotiators a run for their money when it comes to dealing with two or more conflicting parties.

Pride and joy

And I wouldn’t change a thing. Nevertheless – and I say this with all the love and respect in the world for the five females I live with – there comes a time in every man’s life where he needs to reassert his masculinity.

For him to metaphorically roar out his defiance, beat his chest and embrace his inner hunter-gatherer.

Stand up and be counted, like the Spartans at Thermopylae. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. Yes, I’ve purchased a man shed.

I’ve thought about it for years; mulled over where to put it, imagined how it would look.

Many evenings were spent browsing the various styles and sizes online and debating with myself over budget, before finally putting in my order.

And then last weekend the big day came, and I assembled it.

I’m currently engrossed in a biography of the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and, as I surveyed my completed structure, I felt a sense of pride and excitement that Brunel must have felt on the day the SS Great Britain was launched at Bristol in 1843.

My man shed is a thing of beauty, functionality, and joy – may God bless her and all who potter about in her.

What’s in Your Man Shed?

What will I put in there, though? A desk and chair are planned for writing, and doubtless the quality of my weekly ramblings on this page will improve as I absorb the peaceful, calm ambience of my new surroundings, instead of battling to concentrate in the usual noise and chaos of the Evans household.

All good man sheds need a surreptitious bottle of whisky in a drawer, plus a couple of dirty glasses on the off chance I get a visitor.

Perhaps I’ll really rebel and keep a pipe and tobacco in there too.

I’ll clamp it between my teeth as I write, and imagine that I’m a legendary journalist of old, bashing out words aggressively and stylishly.

A vintage tractor sign on the wall, perhaps? Or even better, a pair of antlers mounted above the door to properly symbolise the manliness of my man shed.

A couple of old maps will be needed, so I can study them in the way that all men should.

And of course, I’ll put my record player in the corner so I can listen to classic vinyl albums without having to field complaints.

And the last item: a photo of those aforementioned five females in a sparkly pink frame for my desk – it’s no use, lads, I’m indoctrinated.