: The overflow valve for my mind
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A garage is a blokeís castle.
What is it about garages, sheds and greenhouses? Why do I like them so much?

Itís great to spend a few minutes on a summer evening in the greenhouse with the watering can and then smell that warm, post rain freshness. But nothing beats a decent garage.

Tonight was no exception. A quiet evening in and then at 10:00pm I popped out to strip the bottom bracket of the latest maintenance job. As I stepped out of the back door into the cool fresh night I noted the dark night sky. A purple black dark velvet, dotted all over with bright pin pricks of light as the stars shone down with no hint of interruption from cloud. It was silent. The scent of the afternoonís rain on the ground still filled the air, coupled with the smells of the fertilisers and flowers that I had spent the weekend playing with. I could have spent another quiet evening in reflection on the decking; but I had a job in mind.

I unlocked the back door of the garage, switched on the light and slipped in. The air inside was still warm, the brick walls had retained the heat from the day. The warm smell of old oil and grease, mixed with sawdust, wood and concrete filled the air. It is a familiar and comforting smell, one that all garages have, yet this garage is less than a year old.

Spanners lie on the bench. All other tools are in their place. This garage is a masterpiece of space utilisation; something I canít do indoors. Shelves are full, no spaces exist anywhere. Even the ceiling cavity between the high shelves is filled with suspended bikes; even though nobody believed a tandem would fit up there amongst the others.

My main bike gets wheeled to block the door Iíve just entered by, the bike Iím working on is now accessible. I turn on the radio, crack open a bottle from the fridge which is gently humming in the corner, pick up a spanner and am ready to beginÖ


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