A mans refuge in his garage

I’ve successfully completed another DIY project, and I loved it. On a week off I decided to spend a couple of days painting the garage walls with clear sealant, I’ll explain why in a moment, but do you know the most amazing thing? I enjoyed it, much more than that I discovered something I had previously mocked, and in a way I was already doing it, but this was much closer to what I once thought laughable that it hit home.

I now understand about the relationship between a man and his shed, or allotment. I get it, and all because of my garage.

You see I spent time out there merely as a task to keep the car clean, let me get back to the sealant and explain.

I try to wash and wax the car monthly, but since I moved here the amount of dirt piling up on it has been loads more than I’ve ever had, and it’s been building up within days of being washed, it didn’t seem safe even in the garage. I had thought that this was down to the wind blowing in dirt from the building site, but not so.

The concrete in the garage continually gives off a fine dust, and this has been building in the garage and lying on the car. It’s noticeable even the day after the floor is swept and the car washed. So I decided to seal the concrete and then paint it, all ready for the shelving and the carpeting on the walls – to protect the car you understand!

So I set to. Bought the materials, emptied the garage and began. It was amazingly theraputic, I relaxed, and although I’ve got a very good blood pressure (just taken and congratulated by the Doctor again this week) I felt that all my troubles and woes lifted and I relaxed, I could feel it. Problems and troubles that had been in my head just disappeared, and I managed to make lists, organise and jumble out the order from the mess, all the while in my little refuge painting away.

No, it was not due to the sealant fumes, although the neighbours complained about that on day two and the Site Manager popped by. We had a very sociable chat and talked about the other garages in the area and about his new house – you see? Men bonding in the male refuge, it’s like a wildlife programme!

I understand now, I get it. That place is mine, it’s my refuge from the outside world, where I go to relax and shut everything else out. Men with allotments are not laughable, they are not stupid, they have their refuge too.

What I didn’t realise before is that I’ve always had my own refuge. I’m sitting here on one now, typing away at this computer, this is one of my lifelong places. Not forgetting the cinema and games room, that’s probably my second refuge which has just the same effect, and there’s the gym of course, and the bathroom with a book – a common one for many men!

So the painting went on and the garage is now sealed. The car will return to it tomorrow after a few days out in the open, poor thing is cold. Then the next task is to paint the walls white, the floor some other colour, and stick carpet round the walls. No door dings in my garage!

Find your refuge, make it your own, and then enjoy. Make sure you have at least one though, and that goes for the ladies too. Just don’t make your refuge the same as the mans!

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