Monday, 25 April 2011

The shed is declared open for International Downshifting Week

Well, whaddya know!  If there was one thing missing in my life it was the attendance of an official opening, but not to fret, that's now done and dusted as tonight my good friend, author and broadcaster Tracey Smith, arrived in town and officially opened my shed!

Many of you might already know Tracey as the author of The Book of Rubbish Ideas, but her other passion is downshifting and this week she's on a tour of the UK to promote International Downshifting Week, which she founded seven years ago to help people discover simple ways to achieve a better work-life balance.

The week runs from 23 - 29 April and throughout her tour, Tracey has been visiting villages, towns and cities right across the country to encourage folk to think about not only what they can do for themselves but also how to help share skills amongst their communities.  Tracey's community blanket project is a good example of this, where groups of friends have been gathering together this week to share their knowledge of knitting and create blankets that will be useful to vulnerable people during the winter months.

So after attending a "knit-in" in a friend's garden in the heart of Suffolk - where I was proud to have contributed a couple of rows (anyone who knows me will easily recognise what an achievement that is) - Tracey returned home with me to officially open The Shed!

And it's not just any old shed you know.  It really is my gateway to a better work-life balance, so it is appropriate that despite it being erected last summer, it's now received its official opening during International Downshifting Week.

It's the place where I organise my seeds, blog, listen to the radio, read, catch up with my friends and on the odd occasion watch TV through the magic of Wi-Fi.  It's also been a physical place of temporary refuge where I once locked myself out of the house and huddled under a few blankets with the kids and some market provisions until my husband arrived home a few hours later.   I even had my first live radio interview from the shed in recent weeks too...a feature about sheds on our local radio station no less.

As Tracey Smith said whilst "opening" the shed this evening,  "Every woman should have one.  Tis a space to be creative and expressive".  I couldn't agree more.

So, should you ever be pondering a new 4x4 for your commute to work, I would strongly suggest a 6x4 instead.  It might not have wheels, but it's sure got legs and can take your inspiration and creativity to new places, leading to new opportunities of which you'd never previously have dreamed...even if those legs belong to the spiders who live there!

And bunting is of course optional!

"The Shed", as featured on BBC Radio Suffolk's
  Mark Murphy's Breakfast Show

For inspiration on how you can get involved with International Downshifting Week, more information can be found at and if you are considering getting yourself a shed for either work or leisure-time, do check out for ideas.


Catherine said...

Love it! In particular, I spotted that lovely pinky purpley quilty thing there - I'm liking the look of that!
x x x

cartside said...

And I spotted that too... lovely shed, shall I post a piccie of mine? It's full of rubbish, dirt and dead spiders. Live ones too I'm sure... Looks fab, a room of one's own for sure

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Catherine, thank you....that lovely purpley thing is a little blanket that I picked up from a craft market in Bury St Edmunds...It's crocheted and has got loads of buttons, spangles and pieces of ribbon sewn into it. It's a real joy to look at. ;0)

LOL Steffi, I think you should post up a photo of your spider palace. I'll take a better photo of the purple blankety work of art and post that up on FB too ;0) x

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