Friday, September 14, 2007

A Room - and a Bed - of One's Own

I spent the oddest morning chasing up bills and papers and receipts and passwords and forms. They were scattered all over the house — and that's after making sure I had gathered everything I needed from the office at work. OK, some people are good filers, and know where everything is. I admit I am always rather haphazard. But could someone who was a good filer experience a tenth of the joy and satisfaction that was mine when I did finally find the membership renewal form - in one of the dozen special piles of important papers around the house?

And in my defence, life is particularly chaotic at the moment: my work places are scattered between the dining-room table, the spare bedroom, the tv room and our bedroom. And why? Because I have no room of my own, temporarily, at least. Part of the house re-building we are doing involves my study:


you can see how deeply they have dug down below the level of the hearth. This is more than just re-painting; rather, proper re-stumping. These floors have been here a hundred years, and you can perhaps make out fragments of the original roof tiles that dropped to the floor as they were building.

I've also just now signed off on the upstairs room with builder and architect. Peter and Shannon have lifted the bed up the stairs and I'm about to spend a happy weekend, when I should be reading biographies of Shakespeare and his wife for a review I'm writing, moving our clothes and bedlinen and all that odd bedroom stuff upstairs. I have in mind a resolution to try and find a few things I no longer wear and no longer wish to keep. Paul is away, though, so I'll do it on my own and have a week up there before he gets home. How odd that seems; in that we have been sleeping for 14 years in a most ramshackle, run down old room with plaster falling off the ceiling, and yet he is not here for the big move. Upstairs is so grand I can't bear to move our random old bedside furniture up there.
Here are snaps of the ceiling in the old bedroom:




A serendipitous connection leaps to mind, though, between the work I'll be doing and the work I should be doing, in Shakespeare leaving his second best bed to Ann Hathaway. I'll try and find out more about this in between armfuls of clothes.

P.S. Here's what the other side of that pile of books looks like. Click to enlarge. What do you have on your bedside table?

10 comments:

Zoe said...

I have Jane Eyre, Delia Falconer's The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers, Roth's Everyman, Stefan Gates' Gastronaut, Ian McEwan's Atonement, Fuschia Dunlop's Sichuan Cookery, two notebooks, some water and a bottle of ear drops.

And to think I thought you'd never ask ...

WhatLadder said...

Bedside table:
First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, One Red Paperclip, a biography of Malory, the latest issue of Nintendo Power, my DS (Train Your Brain, people!), my iPod, on which I am listening to The Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett and Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton, Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr and some awful thing called Airy Fairy. The last 3 are there because I read to my spawn every night.

Stephanie Trigg said...

Oh, well, Zoe, if we're doing medications as well...

(mine is tamoxifen, in a nifty little purple daily dispenser. But this is only an optional part of the question!)

Atonement is one of my favourite novels; but will I go and see that chin and that rib cage acting in the new film? not sure if I can bear it.

A few years ago I told my friend I had finished atonement. Quick as a flash, he said, "great! but how was the novel?" The dog.

Whatladder; don't understand how I missed reading the enchanted wood when I had a child young enough. Now he's reading Sara Douglas...

What's the Malory biog. like?

WhatLadder said...

A bit focussed on redeeming him as an intellectual and a man of letters. I was hoping for something more rip-roaring.

Kathleen said...

Oh wow, the building project looks like it was way overdue. Were you never afraid the sky would fall on your heads while you slept?!

* "Burning In," Mireille Juchau
* "Rebecca," Daphne du Maurier (I mean, come on, why not?!)
* "The Eye of the Storm," Patrick White
"Bleak House," Dickens (just finished it, loved it so much I can't put it back on the shelf yet!).

I like the fact that my fiction is so different to what I study. I respect scholars who are able to "do" film/fiction about their era (particularly for enjoyment only, not as part of a scholarly enterprise). But for the Italian Renaissance, the closest I can get in film is Benigni and Troisi in "Non ci resta che piangere"...and I never got anywhere with Eliot's "Romola". Hmm.

I reckon it's all grist for the mill, anyhow!

lucy tartan said...

Bedside table: Billy Budd, the biography of Ann Shakespeare, recent LRB, and Into Thin Air by John Krakauer. That's all. I'm going through a tidy phase at the moment.

I must add to Kathleen's congratulations on the impressive condition of the former bedroom ceiling.

Stephanie Trigg said...

kathleen: hmm, perhaps it's time for a Dickens burst. I need something to take on holiday next week, and Bleak House might be perfect.

lucy: what do you think of the Greer biography? I'm reviewing it now and find myself writing all kinds of nice things...

update: the old bedroom now has all the plaster that was on the walls on the floor. Shannon the builder was cleaning up the corridor yesterday and shovelling the debris into the room...

lucy tartan said...

I'm enjoying the biography. I'll look forward to reading your review.

Suse said...

Bedside table:
a red origami flower courtesy Son #1;
the new Bill Bryson biography of Shakespeare, finished this morning;
Tracy Chevalier's 'Burning Bright';
tube of handcream.

Seeing your pile reminded me that Mr Golightly's Holiday is the one Salley Vickers I haven't read. Must remedy that.

Suse said...

Oh,and something by Marion Halligan. Can't remember what and I'm up the other end of the house. It will be tackled after the Chevalier, however.