Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wildwood by Roger Deakin

Wood is at the very core of shedworking and all shedworkers will enjoy Roger Deakin's latest (and sadly last) book, the marvellous Wildwood. Deakin roams around Britain and further afield exploring the theme of woods and trees, ancient and modern. The book opens on his own farm where he talks about the shepherd's hut at his home, Walnut Tree Farm, where he works and sleeps.
"I have a weakness for sheds or huts of all kinds, no doubt inherited from the bothy my father built for me and my animal familiars at the end of the garden when I was about six. These days my cosy cabin is a shepherd's hut in the lee of a southfacing Suffolk hedge and a big ash tree a field away from the house. Perched on iron wheels, it is lined with close-grained pine boards stained a deep hone-amber by years of woodsmoke seeping from the stove. There's a simple chair and table where I often work, oil lamps and candles, sun-faded curtains, and a wooden bed."

It's a very readable and very enjoyable book, with plenty of food for thought about our lifestyles in general, as well as sheds.
"There's more truth about a camp than a house because that's the position we are in. The house represents what we ourselves would like to be on earth: permanent, rooted, here for eternity. But a camp represents the true reality of things: we're just passing through."

You can hear Deakin talking a bit about his shepherd's hut and his garden in general on the BBC here.

This will be the first in a regular series of Tuesday posts about shepherds' huts because they're so lovely.

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