The one where I share 5 things that should NOT be on my desk!

My super writing friend, Sharon Booth, has a fabulous blog and she posted earlier today about the five most important items she has on her desk, which is the sort of blog post I love because I adore little insights into the writing spaces of other authors. You can read Sharon’s post here which, in turn, was inspired by a post from wonderful author Linda Huber whose post you can read here.

I thought I might jump on the bandwagon and write a similar post. But then I looked at the state of my desk and thought maybe I’d take the opposite approach and pick 5 things that should NOT be on my desk, either because they have no place on a desk or because they are maybe a little more unusual.

So, in no particular order, I submit the following evidence…

IMG_7909Yes, that’s right, your eyes are not deceiving you. It’s a bottle of V.I.Poo. On. My. Desk. Why? That’s a very good question! A couple of years ago, this product was launched and the adverts made hubby and me laugh and cringe in equal measures. “Punish the porcelain?” Ew, that’s gross! We speculated on whether anyone would really keep a bottle on them, just in case they were caught short in a public place. Imagine rummaging through your handbag and out pops the bottle of V.I.Poo? I’d die!!!!

Anyway, I bought a bottle – Lemon Idol fragrance – for hubby and wrapped it up as a Christmas gift. Oh, how we laughed on Christmas Day! Across the course of last year, the V.I.Poo bottle kept going back and forth between us, trying to surprise the other with where it materialised. I hid it in hubby’s pillow, his pants drawer, in his hoodie pocket and so on and he revelled in secreting it in my handbag. I arrived at the RNA’s York Tea with it, for example, and it made it down to London with me for the Winter Party. So naughty!

It had provided us with so many fun moments (we probably need to get out more) that, of course, I wrapped it up and gave it to him again this Christmas. He rewarded my generosity by placing it in my handbag once more. And now it’s on my desk, reminding me I need to get revenge at some point. Hmm. Got my thinking cap on…

IMG_7911

Next we have a one-eared toy monkey.

Our 4-year-old Sprocker Spaniel, Ella, loves playing with her dog toys. Some of them don’t last a day but others seem to last years. Every so often, she will decide “today is the day you die” and pick one of her toys to destroy. It’s usually ears or labels or something else fairly easy to rip off and little monkey was the latest victim.

He was confiscated before dying completely and he’s sat on my desk to give her on a day she’s being less destructive!

 

IMG_7908Item 3 is a broken necklace. Of course.

The munchkin really wanted this ‘WISH’ necklace from Claire’s for Christmas. I couldn’t see it in our local store but managed to source it in a sale online and have it delivered to store. She wore it once and it broke. It’s there for a bright day when I don’t have tired eyes and can try to repair it.

As my eyes are permanently tired these days, not sure when that will be. Maybe never.

 

IMG_7912We move onto perhaps a more unusual item but one which I actually find essential: a back scratcher. In fact, it’s an extendable back scratcher. Not only that, it’s an extendable back scratcher in the shape of a bear claw. OMG! Talk about the gift that keeps on giving!

Hubby bought it for me last year as we both work from home and I often ask for a back scratch if he comes in to ‘visit’. So he sourced this. It was only a couple of pound off either Amazon or Ebay and, my goodness, it’s been invaluable. I’m like Baloo the bear from The Jungle Book rubbing up and down that tree without actually having to rub up and down a tree … which is just as well because there aren’t any trees in my office.

IMG_7910My final item is this: Body Shop Pink Grapefruit eau do toilette. Oh my, how gorgeous does this stuff smell?

I sit at my desk all day, marking assignments and occasionally (ok, you got me, make that constantly) want to eat cake and biscuits and chocolate because this is a job that requires a lot of concentration but is very repetitive.

I would have to be winched out the roof if I succumbed to all my sweet cravings and I therefore feel appeased if I spritz myself occasionally. It’s sweet in a non-edible way but it seems to work and, of course, my office smells gorgeous on the back of it.

Hope you enjoyed a foray into my not-meant-to-be-here items from my desk. What do you have on your desk that (probably) shouldn’t be there? I’d love to hear from you.

Jessica xx

 

A Space of my Own

I am very excited at the moment because I have finally got something that I’ve longed for in ages; my very own writing space. All mine.

ImageWe moved to our current house a little over three years. Our previous home had been a big Victorian three-storey five-bed end of terrace property in town. As we only have munchkin, this meant three spare bedrooms so hubby and I had an office each and there was still a spare bedroom for guests. I didn’t write as often in those days. I wanted to but I watched Emmerdale, Coronation Street and lots of other programmes until I realised that I could claw back time if I pretty much gave up TV. So I did. But I still found lots of distractions to keep me from writing.

When we moved to our current home – a newish-build four-bed house – having my own office didn’t seem that much of a priority. I’d stopped working from home and I didn’t write that often so why would I need my own space. Surely a spare room for friends and family to stay was more important? Thing was, family and friends never came to stay. We bought a new bed for the room and it’s been slept in four or five nights during three years. Whereas I have ditched the TV (mostly) and write every spare moment I have (ok, so I faff about with social media as well but I should be writing!) and have far more need for a writing space than our non-existant guests have for a bed.

ImageExcept hubby didn’t see it that way. I worked from home for a year and we shared an office and, when I started working in an office again at the start of last year, it was even harder to persuade him that I needed my own room. But then I began annoying him. Not deliberately, mind; I’m not that mean. My small desk seemed to be permanently stacked with papers and, every so often, I’d feel the urge to tidy them. Shuffling papers is apparently a distracting sound. Sometimes I like music on and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes he wanted music on and sometimes he didn’t . Yes, you’ve guessed it; these times never corresponded. He’d annoy me too. He can work with TV programmes or films streamed through his laptop. I can’t work at all if the TV is on because I’ll watch it whether I’m interested in it or not (may come from watching TV so rarely so I grab it where I can!)

It was my birthday at the start of May. A few months before, I told him that what I wanted would only cost a tin of paint and a few shelves. I wanted my own writing space. “It’s not going to happen,” he said. “It is,” I replied. And it finally has. Whether it’s three months of increased pressure that has got to him or sympathy for me having a minor health-scare last week, he’s caved in. There are conditions. I have to keep it tidy (no more piles of paperwork on my desk) and I have to make more time for the munchkin when I get in from work instead of disappearing into my writing sanctuary. I’m not convinced she’ll want my time as she’s usually watching something on TV or engrossed in a game of schools but I’ll do my best to be a better mum and try not to be insulted at the suggestion that I’m not.

ImageSo this bank holiday weekend has all been about tackling the spare bedroom. That would be the spare bedroom that had become a dumping ground because, with no staying guests, that’s what happens to spare rooms isn’t it? It took me several hours on Friday night and a couple more on Saturday morning to clear all of this out and it took me until Sunday to finish painting. I have a stretch of about a foot of unglossed skirting board to do because a large piece of furniture blocked me from doing it at the weekend. I need a couple of shelves putting up and there are still a few more boxes to unpack (not quite sure where the stuff is going to go but I’ll find somewhere eventually) but, other than that, I’m pretty much there. And I love it!

I haven’t actually done any proper writing yet i.e. on my novel rather than social media or this blog but I’m excited about doing that. I’ve surrounded myself by inspirational messages and gorgeous things. They don’t all match, there’s a complete mix of styles and colours but the room brings together the things I love – reading, writing, teddy bears and pretty things.

ImageI think hubby approves. He stood in the doorway earlier and said, “I think I might move in here”. He had the opportunity. As the one who works from home, I did say he could have this room instead (it’s slightly bigger) but he decided to stay put so he’s made his choice. This is MY space. ALL MINE!!!

Time to write … ooh, is that tea I smell? Perhaps after that then …

Image

Image