A Desk of One’s Own

Like anything one is trying to nurture, writing takes time and effort.

Although it is considered a mainly cerebral activity, writing also needs physical space, somewhere to hide the scripts you might come back to, stack the books you mean to read, and scatter the pencil sharpenings as you launch into the next literary venture.

I adore my writer’s desk, a skip-dip treasure, rescued during a staffroom refurbishment.

It had been hidden behind the school stage as an occasional drama prop for the best part of twenty years. Before that it had been shipped up from a Sisters of Mercy convent school in Guernsey, the motto of which was Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful. I imagine a cowled, wimpled nun sitting upright behind it, sternly overseeing her charges.

The desk survived the German occupation of the Channel Islands, and the journey up North, intact. In its more recent history, it was promoted to the staffroom, returning to its original vocation as the workstation of teachers, stuffed full of books and papers, bearing the weight of the frustration of the red pen.

Admittedly, it stood in my garden for almost a year, under plastic, until I got around to cleaning, sanding, staining and varnishing, but it was then, under the careful restoration, that I began to fall in love.

The smooth, cold feel of the tiny brass knob on the secret inner drawer where I hide my chocolate stash, the comforting waft of ancient oak as I lift the desk lid, the sight of the Rorschachtic splodge of decades-old blue ink inside, all welcome me, urge me, and remind me that this is the time, the space, the place to write. Whenever I am doing something other than writing, my desk sits like a patient dog waiting to be walked.

Semper Fidelis.


17 thoughts on “A Desk of One’s Own

  1. A solid, strong desk for one of the strongest, kindest women I know. I hope ur desk welcomes u to ur writing, just as u made me welcome the 1st week we met with the loan of a book 🙂

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  2. Great desk! It is interesting to see how the word varnish and the spanish equivalent barniz look very different but are pronounced in a similar way. Not very related, but I found it funny.

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  3. Cool idea for a blog post! Your desk is very fancy! I like the history. Mine’s from IKEA …but it does the trick. Also it is adjustable to keep my back safe. 😊

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