This is my take on the series - written in the style of The Guardian. In fact - please read this first, and then come back...
Writers' Rooms: Jayne Ferst-Second
It’s the back of the house, and only seventeen years ago stars shone through the gap between the ill-fitting curtains while the floor was ankle-deep in computer magazines left behind by my older brother. I love the sound of sirens and view of the motorway in the distance. Who says London is overcrowded? True, the room is often noisy but silence addles my brains.
I’ve got cat hairs round the little window, and type by hand at the chest of drawers awkwardly positioned in front of it. The corkboard was made by Argos.
The bookends are stacks of historical books to bring me good luck, because my debut novel covers a span of decades. On the window ledge stands a strange plastic pot with plastic flowers my mother brought back from a car-boot sale.
On top of the shelf containing my essential reference books is a 1960s dolls house and a lustrous feather duster – both from my Nan’s in Stoke Newington. And there’s an unholy mix underneath: a Matchbox scooter, a Camden-era candle and a cobalt pot thrown by me in anger the last time I was looking for something.
I bought my shelf unit when I was 19 with my pay cheque from Woolworths, and that’s where I store crap. The shelves don’t really fit, but I jam everything into it. There’s a photograph of me when I was grumpy and small on the shelf, and in the corner a 21st-century embossed double-whammy candle. Books, coasters, paintbrushes, mugs…everything in the bedroom either relates directly to my mum or is rich in personal association. Everything is here by accident.
The half of the room out of shot has wooden wardrobes, their slats all covered in dust, a Hackney ottoman and a dresser piled with perfume and projects. There’s also a primitive painting of flowers by the Swedish shop Ikea.
Each of the walls are the same colour, but what you can’t see is the hidden blue tack stains from teenage posters – pictures of childhood. So the walls are as merry as a bog-standard bedroom, dressed in the colours of suburbia.
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