A Space Of My Own


See - no room for a door!

WE all have those kind of weeks, don’t we? And even though it’s only halfway through this week it already feels like it’s been a month long. I have to drop it all at the gap between the filing cabinet and the wall, which is the doorway to my kingdom, otherwise what will I achieve? It’s an act of my will. I determine that once I get into my little empire, the rest of the world will have to fall back and wait.

But. I am so grateful to have a space of my own. My office is about the size of most people’s broom cupboard – but it’s mine. Virginia Woolf was right – it is essential to have some separate place if at all possible, so inviolable area which is yours and no one else’s. A retreat, maybe; a workspace, definitely; a refuge.

Sometimes I wish I had a door. Then I could really shut everything and everyone out. Unless they had a password or a cup of coffee (same thing). But if I had a door, I wouldn’t be able to get into my office. Or maybe I could if it was one of those sliding door-thingies like my mother-in-law used to have on the downstairs cupboard to create a loo. The door always used to jam. Not good if you were in a hurry. I can remember my children, when small, hopping from foot to foot while we tried to wrestle the door open. ‘Don’t ever pull it all the way closed!’

But. I am so grateful, even for this small space, crowded, disorganised, but mine. I shake off the outside world and retreat into a world of my own creation. When I emerge, I am vaguely surprised to find the world kept on turning without me. There may even be daylight. I just need to get away sometimes. And even if I don’t need to get away, there’s always something to read, edit, proofread, plan, plot, daydream over, panic over, scowl at, shuffle and file. And there’s a waste-bin too. Quite a lot of my stuff ends up in there.

Maybe I should get a little fridge in there. Or a microwave? I could do myself some popcorn and zap a latte. Maybe put that old jumper round my shoulders and put on fluffy slippers. If there’s a freak internet connection I might be able to watch something on YubeTube. If I got a loo and a phone and a microwave, and maybe a kettle and some Chocolate Hobnobs, I wouldn’t ever need to come out again?

Maybe I should just do some writing.

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