Twelve weeks later

Strange, that I still don’t quite know what day it is when I wake up in the morning. They are all the same now. Except Sundays, of course – the  Archers omnibus is on Sunday.(Unlike most people I like the monologues. And the jolly jangly theme tune.)

Writing life in lockdown was not as easy as I expected. In theory there should have been no difference in the hours worked by a self-employed author, whether locked down or free range, but my assumption had not taken into account the daily calls from worried far-flung family and friends.  Not their fault. Far from it. They were calls I welcomed and indulged myself in for hours, catching up with enormous enjoyment once the health status of both parties and all their extended families, and life in Australia, New Zealand, US, France and all corners of the UK had been established.

Then came the great desk move.  On the list of reasons not to be working this took the prize. My beloved, and it has to be said, huge, desk had been languishing in storage in Norfolk ever since our move to Wales. Together with the kitchen dresser it was deemed too large for any rooms in the new house. Lockdown was a good time to sort out stuff. To do the filing. Empty drawers. Paint the bedroom. And retrieve the desk. The moment came for its liberation after some anxious wielding of tape measures (and who could remember its exact proportions, incarcerated as it was in a container far far away). 

It arrived. The stand-in desk, a sheet of ply screwed to the top of a self assembly job and massively lacking, it has to be said, in sartorial elegance, was dismantled and the removal men manoeuvred the desk upstairs to the bedroom I use as a study. Everyone held their breath. We had worried about the size. No one had considered the sheer weight of a huge lump of 19thcentury mahogany. 

The ceiling didn’t collapse. Bonus! And the desk looked lovely (if a bit, well, ‘large’). Double bonus.

The acres of desk top accommodated my ‘desktop’ with ease, plus, books, notes, keyboard, filing trays, jugs of pencils. But even then it looked a bit bare. Too neat.

My current book needed only a few more tweaks,

I couldn’t face it.

I tidied up some more, around the desk this time and vacuumed the floor! I still didn’t feel able to start.  Something was very wrong. 

Then one morning I came in and looked at the desk. And I realised that chaos had been recreated in the night. I had left a pile of books (on costume in case you ask) stacked in one corner and in the night the pile had slid over into an untidy heap. I had left a half drunk cup of cold coffee near my research notebook and the notebook was open. The clip had come off a pile of cuttings and they had blown everywhere in the draught from the open window. I sat down. I switched on. I picked up my pen. I felt at home again. I was back in business. I finished the final draft in four days.

So now the end of lock down is happening, but for now much is the same. In Wales we are more cautious than England. The daily update in ponderous. Considered. Firm. It all sounds safe, whereas in England things seem a bit wild and out of control. Odd that. It’s only down the road, England, but for now it feels like a foreign land. 

But here the shops are open too now, the pubs are ready to go, there are (orderly) queues outside the ice cream shop and I have bought a new notebook just in case inspiration strikes when I am walking the dog. Everything is almost back to normal.