Thursday, December 13, 2018

Jimmy McGovern: shedworker

Dramatist Jimmy McGovern, whose one-off drama Care recently aired on the BBC, is also a shedworker. In several interviews he has waxed lyrical about his space although also commenting that he spent £30,000 on it without realising some of the tax implications (always check with your accountant if you're intending to claim) and now thinks he might have been better putting it on wheels.

He talks about his garden office at length with Stephen Phelan in The Sunday Herald:
He invites me inside the workroom in his garden, which he calls “the big hut”. He thought he could claim back the cost of its construction as a tax break – only afterwards did his accountant tell him that the requisite clause does not apply to buildings. “I should have put it on bloody wheels,” he says, having written it off as a funny story instead. The big hut is carpeted, kitted out with a bookshelf and soft chairs, and heated to a soporific temperature. It doesn’t seem the sort of room where a working-class man writes working-class dramas, but that must be what happens in here, although McGovern does admit that prosperity and comfort have made him less productive.
In a recent interview with Big Issue North he added: "At 69, “I’m slowing down,” but as for retirement, “I’ve got a hut in the garden and I can’t see me not going over to that hut”."

And in the video below he discusses his writing methods including why he likes his garden office birdfeeder and the amount of time he spends watching the birds, weeding, and admiring his chestnut tree blowing in the wind. As he says: "If I can't work there, I can't work anywhere." He starts talking about shedworking from around the 4.28 mark.

Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

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