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Monday 26 September 2016

I caved in to my man cave desires

John Masterson

Published 18/01/2016 | 02:30

John Masterson: For a man a few hours with a chain saw is the equivalent of a woman going on a girlie weekend.
John Masterson: For a man a few hours with a chain saw is the equivalent of a woman going on a girlie weekend.

There are some things that are too important to leave to chance. One of those is trusting your loved ones to get you what you really want for Christmas. It makes a lot of sense to take things into your own hands and put your own happiness ahead of any potentially hurt feelings. You can still ooh and aah at whatever it is they imagined you would like and all will be well. Just don't put it on Done Deal for a good while.

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The build-up to my getting the Jo Malone of presents, for me, began early in 2015 when instead of weeks of floods we had weeks of storms. My much loved garden shed, which I had always regretted getting in too small a size, was lifted into the air and came down a bit bent. I wasn't too bothered because I figured an hour or two would return it to usable condition. I had not counted on yet another storm and this time a sizeable tree was uprooted and chose my shed to land on. The tree was no more and the shed was definitely no more. I could see many hours of happy work with a chain saw ahead.

For a man a few hours with a chain saw is the equivalent of a woman going on a girlie weekend to buy outfits for a wedding. There is the pure pleasure of the noise of it. There is the masculinity of putting on safety glasses and looking cool.

And then there are the hours of cutting through wood like butter and if that doesn't make a man feel useful and powerful then nothing will. I did mention this to a very female female a while back and she confided to me that she also enjoyed a bout with a chain saw. Leave that as it may, if I did not already have a chain saw then it would have been a perfect Christmas present.

The demise of the shed and the hours with the chain saw resulted in another of my great pleasure, wood fires. With the slightest excuse I will have a fire lighting and I am convinced it is good for my sense of wellbeing. I am not sure I could live in a house without a fireplace. In the summer I get extra hours outdoors by using a blazing chiminea and pretending it is not yet freezing.

As Christmas approached, I became more and more aware of the shed shaped hole in my life. I have great admiration for the Men's Sheds movement where men meet and talk, but mine is a more solitary pursuit. Men, they say, talk shoulder to shoulder in the sheds that are springing up around the country and this is a movement that is of great benefit for men who may lack social outlet or be inclined to bottle up troubles.

There are those who wish I bottled up more. So it was with great pleasure that I did the measurements and put in the order for the shed of my dreams, well almost, in December.

I have already spent many happy hours shelving and organising and just existing. In summer I may move it. It has been the perfect Christmas present.

Sunday Indo Living

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