Monday, 12 November 2007

Where do you write?

There is a great special report in the Guardian online called Writers’ Rooms – a collection of photographs and thoughts on their little worlds. I am fascinated for two reasons – mostly everyone’s writing space looks like they are hugely rich (tapestries, one or two heirlooms, huge windows, two or more computers) and of course, these are real proper authors, and it is where real proper authors work. How does my space match up, I wondered…

Through the Chair


I work out of the spare bedroom, so it’s not ideal – there is a wardrobe behind me that I do my level best to ignore, and we are not allowed to put up anything on the walls unless there already is a nail there (and they check this, the pedantic so and so’s). See, ideally I would like more pictures on the wall, more colours around me, but heigh ho. This flat came with furniture, so I happily appropriated our old dining table and chair to work on – they are both made of solid wood and are huge and heavy. I cannot sit straight to save my life, so am forever twisting about forgetting the chair does not, and end up with a ton of bruises – that table is not forgiving. I have speakers, and whenever am stuck I play a range of music that I have on the computer. Next songs up are Rod Stewart (Maggie May), The Kinks (Waterloo Sunset) and various Slade tunes - I know these sort of tunes so well that they are comforting and I can work through them, as well as sing along every so often.

To the right of the computer I have my printer, on top of that is my Top Twenty book (I like to listen to music from the month I am writing about if possible), and some research books. Propped up is my Flower Fairies of the winter book, invaluable for a bit of chilly garden research. You can hardly see it, but my chapter plan is beside my mouse, I mostly resist the urge to rest my coffee cup on it, although a few tell tale circles beg a different story.
And that is all the story this picture tells us, I could widen the camera's gaze but then you would see untidy stacks of research, tons of books banked against the wall, a sort of glitter glo-lamp thing that spins around, and my collection of old annuals, books and records. See, where I actually write is sort of the boring bit...

2 comments:

musicobsessive said...

What a tantalising glimpse! Actually your desk is the neatest currently on record looking at the Guardian site and my own!
Also - ah! Waterloo Sunset, possibly the most evocative song ever committed to vinyl, I always get a bit misty eyed when I play it - it just reeks of 1960s England, a place that doesn't really exist any more. Sigh!
PS thanks for adding a link to my blog. Much appreciated.

Jayne Ferst said...

I know - I was going to try and get in the whole room and then got shy! And really, the most important thing in here is the heater :)

I love Waterloo Sunset, for the same reasons you do. Such a perfect song.

I read somewhere that (in a way) it was a blessing for music that The Kinks couldn't go to America in the 60's (there was a reason at the time they weren't allowed in, not that I can recall what) and because of that they focused in on life around them, and gave us such gorgeous songs as Waterloo Sunset.