It really is time for me to come clean. It’s 10 years since oldest son left school; almost 9 years since he left home for university.
A couple of years later, when it was clear he wasn’t intending to move back in again, I started to shift a few of my things into his room. Then a few more things, and a few more again. But we still called it his room, and it still looked (on the whole) like his room.
Then gradually, insidiously, I moved more and more of my things in. I shifted the furniture around; took down his picture display; moved his art notebooks, coursework, and portfolios to another room.
I can’t pretend any longer that I’m just borrowing this space. Yes, it really is time for me to come clean and own up and say that this is now my room.
Virginia Woolf was right – we should all have a room of our own*. A place to be who we are, who we want to be, a place without compromise and mutual agreements.
I found the perfect second hand (Danish?) chest of drawers in a local charity vintage furniture shop**. It houses my collection of fabric and yarn for all those ‘sometime‘ projects. Above it is the perfect place for shelves for my collection of gardening, craft, and inspiration books (and a few knick knacks). Malcolm put up the shelf supports and bought the shelves for me.
I hemmed the curtains (it’s only taken me 3 years to get round to doing that. Yes, three whole years, for a 20 minute job. I know).
I’m planning a session sorting through all the books, choosing some to give away, some for the charity shop, others to re-read. Paperwork to be sorted, checked and (some) chucked.
I have a (second hand, one day to be re-covered) cozy chair where I sit and knit, or crochet, or read, or meditate, or just look out of the window.
The spare bed is here, with plenty of cushions. A (second hand) bedside table – I began 2015 by contacting the makers, Ercol, to ask if they might be able to supply some spare pins to hold the shelves – they were incredibly kind and sent me several pins free of charge by return of post. It holds a radio permanently tuned to BBC R4, plus a CD player for those (very few) occasions when R4 lets me down.
I have my mother-in-law’s sewing box that I inherited when we emptied her flat a few years ago.
Plus of course my desk / work corner, complete with noticeboard. As you can see, I didn’t get round to tidying up before inviting you in. You’ll have to take me as you find me.
And I have a View. Out towards the allotments. In the winter I can see across to the hens’ pen.
I love being with people, and especially being with Malcolm and the rest of the family, and good friends. But my goodness I do also love solitude and quiet, and this is my peaceful haven and retreat. I wish I had realised and acted on this earlier in my life, but now is the time and this is my space.
How fortunate I am.
* The shame of being part of a country that imposes the hateful and punitive bedroom tax on people who need to rely on benefits. I’m well aware of the luxury I enjoy.
** This is an altogether Very Good Thing – they work with vulnerable and disadvantaged people from our community, helping them gain skills and providing work opportunities refurbishing and making furniture, which is then sold in their shop; the profits from the shop go back into their work with vulnerable and disadvantaged people. A virtuous circle.