It’s March – time for men to go back to the shed?

All of a sudden it’s mid-March. The seasons change, the year moves on. We might lament time’s passage but the dividend is spring, then summer, and just lately that welcome arrival of a heartwarming brightness at the opening and closing of the day.


  And the suspense is over, the waiting – thankfully – has ended. The big issue of our times has finally been resolved.

  Not Brexit – Des-exit.

  I had pledged not to watch Dancing With The Stars – and I didn’t – but it was impossible not to see some of the gory goings-on every now and again, and, even if you sold your telly, the whole circus was in your face via the Internet or the newspapers. Such hype!

  Most guilty of all, it seemed to me, was the Irish Independent. Across pages 4 and 5, reports of tragedies – and ‘Dessie’s Dancing Diary’ across pages 2 and 3?

  Anyways, Des Cahill is a nice man, and a lighter one now after his exploits on the show. He’s been eliminated – but we may never be able to erase from our minds that image of Des as Austin Powers.

  Mid-March indeed, and time to check out the lawnmower.

  The lawnmower sits in silence in the shed, surrounded by a kind of controlled clutter.

  The shed…where it’s usually hard to see the things you need and easy to see the things you’ll never need. Almost a metaphor for life!

  There is no sign of the hammer or the screwdriver or the plunger – definitely no sign of the plunger – but there’s an abundance of utterly useless knick-knacks which you have been hoarding for years.

  As the years move on, the shed becomes a museum of knick-knacks – useless things, bits and pieces that should have been thrown out long ago. These are the items that you actually stood beside a skip with. You looked at obscure, funny-shaped, useless items and you had a choice: Skip or keep? And you actually said to yourself ‘Ah sure I’ll keep it, it might come in useful some time…’ And so that utterly useless collection of utterly useless things takes up space in your shrinking shed, the ‘What’s this for?’ items squeezed in between almost-empty paint cans and chipped flower pots and broken toys from long-vanished summers.

  The shed is largely forgotten about during the winter, except for occasional visits, but now, in mid-March, the shed is back in the game.

  The junk in the shed which is now exposed by bright mornings and evenings and the onset of the ‘outdoor season’, even includes some of last year’s newspapers.

  For some reason, there are bulky papers, complete with magazines, stacked on a shelf, relegated from pride of place in the living room to junk status in the shed. Obviously I must have done a clearance of newspapers from the house – but had felt the need to find a new home for them.

  Last summer’s headlines tell of Leicester’s remarkable journey and newspapers from later in the year chart the unravelling of the mad ambition of Donald Trump.

  He’s obviously going nowhere.

  As I and others have observed before, once they move into middle age, men tend to gravitate towards the shed, often for long spells. Men will say they are working, sceptics will say they are in fact hiding out. Surely we can all agree on ‘pottering about’?

  Anyways, Trump is going to drain the swamp; I’m going to drain the shed.



‘Figures reveal that RTE spent a staggering €337,000 on Nicky Byrne’s failed Eurovision bid.’


  Can I suggest a quick cost-saving measure? How about we spend just €300,000 on making sure he doesn’t represent us again – and we put the other €37k to a worthy cause?

  But seriously…€337,000…how many hospital trolleys?