You are probably familiar by now with the photo of my ‘office’. I often put them online.
When we first looked at this house with a view to buying it, my ‘office’ was a broom cupboard/place to put old paint cans. So we painted it, lined it with shelves, crow-barred in a desk and chair and a filing cabinet (Valentine’s gift from my Beloved). and I spent a happy couple of hours heaving in all my books.
Trouble is, I have outgrown the space (and I’m not only talking about my waistline). Because I’m short and fat, I can’t reach the books on the top shelves, and now that the shelves are all full, I’ve started stacking books in front of books – so obviously I can’t find a thing any more. The three-drawer filing cabinet is full – two drawers for manuscripts and other writing stuff, one drawer for family history notes, certificates, etc. Under the desk is a huge box of old tat – mainly notebooks – that I don’t want to chuck out ‘just in case’. and when I sit at my desk, I am surrounded on all sides by precariously balanced heaps of books and boxes of manuscripts.
I’m sure this is not what Virginia Woolf was on about when she said that thing about how ‘one must have a room of one’s own’ if one wants to write.
Thing is, I love my little space. I enjoy sitting in the gloom with all the words of others around me. And I get very territorial – if someone sticks a clothes airer or any other item in my ‘doorway’ I feel really angry about it.
But I can’t find anything.
I know I’ve got a series of notes for a story I entitled ‘The Ice King’. And there’s another about a reporter interviewing the oldest woman in Britain, and discovering all sorts of amazing things about this old lady. It’s a good thing I have a lot of the notes still stored in my head, because I absolutely cannot find a folder, a notebook or even an electronic file for these stories. And you know what it’s like when you want to write a particular story… nothing else will do. A bit like when you need a curry!
So my fruitless search has ended – temporarily – in failure. But I have spent an hour backing up all my electronic files onto cloud storage. I shall fortify myself with a cheese and pickle sandwich, then get back to it. Those notes are in there somewhere, I just know it.