I was watching Notes on a Scandal the other night (thanks BBC iPlayer) and something Sheba Hart, as played by Cate Blanchett, said struck me: “Mind the gap – the distance between life as you dream it and life as it is.”
And it’s true, isn’t it? But how many of us would be happy living our big dream? My dream goes a little something like this:
Lovely big house, lovely husband and 2.4 lovely children. All of them faceless, of course, given that they don’t exist. There’s a long hall way and me ushering them all out to work and school, bikes jumbled under the stairs (my dream bike – currently being saved for one pound coin at a time – gleams brightest among them). There’s me waving them all off. Then I shut the door (Victorian stained glass glowing in the sunshine) and make my way up to my study to work. So far, so general. But the truth is that this whole fantasy hinges on my study…
Tucked right up in the attic of the house, so high there’s no need for curtains. With windows either end the light streams in. Three quarters of the way down the room there’s a wall, with an arch and a step leading into the smaller side of the room. The floor is wooden, real wood, the sort that glows like sunlight through a jar of honey, and is scattered with cosy rugs. Under the window in the biggest side of the room is my desk, nice and wide with a comfy chair, clear but for my laptop. There are bookshelves packed with all my favourite books, filing cabinets for everything from ideas to finished work, letters to bills. There’s also my trusty magnetic whiteboard, with my word count, things to remember and post cards on. Down the length of the room is a bigger table for thought processes. I find i think so much clearer when it comes to editing if I can spread the pages out.
The smaller half of the room, up the step and through the arch, has the other window. Here is my cosy reading chair, red and squashy and just that bit too big for one person. A handmade throw tossed over the back of it for snuggling up in the winter. There’s a table beside it with a stack of library books and plenty of room for a cuppa.
The ultimate sanctuary. Bliss. Oh what I wouldn’t give for that particular room of one’s own. But the rest of that dream, the house, the husband, the work-from-home-mum that happens to be me – not really sure about that. After all, if I’m not out and about, what on earth would I have to write about?
And who wants a faceless husband anyway?