Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Writers' Rooms


I live in a lovely, picturesque part of north London called Finsbury Park, and my study is at the back of the house. From here I can hear the crowd a-roaring when Arsenal play at home, which would certainly make me think of my famous uncle, if I had one. I like to gaze out of the windows at the wildlife, which is why there is a bird book on the desk. What a distraction from the work of writing my next novel! But I like to think the old subconscious is still ticking away while I check out the tits. The desk itself I picked up years ago in a junkshop on the Holloway Road. It's supposed to have belonged to Kierkegaard and it does make me rebel against Hegelianism when I sit at it. Oh no, wait a minute, this one came from Ikea. Well it's all the same part of the world.

I am always cold in here, hence the throw, which came from a little shop in Kilburn in my student days when we were all bisexual and never had more than a guinea to rub together. The boiler broke down and forced me to buy this blanket - prior to that we all slept under our coats in one big bed. It reminds me of hard times, which is important, I think. Oh gosh, silly me, there's a British Home Stores label on this. I must be thinking of the one in my other study, in that charming little house over on the Heath where the landlady has been letting that room to me for two and six since 1927. If only I could remember where it was.

The postcard on the top drawer of the filing cabinet is an invitation to a book launch from the wonderful graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel. I couldn't go but I like everyone to know I was invited. Unfortunately in this picture you can't quite see the bust of Karl Marx which is on loan from Highgate Cemetery while I write his biography.

Oh wait, my partner's just come in to tell me that we live in a rather common neighbourhood, my room is a tip and no one wants to read what I write, not even in the Guardian. I'd get quite cross with him if he wasn't a Nobel Peace Prize–winning conflict resolution expert.

3 comments:

alison bechdel said...

Well I care what you write.

I often confuse Ikea and Kierkegaard myself.

Barbara said...

I don't mind, whatever you two may confuse, as long as you keep writing so entertaining blogs. :-)

Barbara said...

Dear Helen Sandler,
I really hope, it is a coincidence, that you stopped writing your blog just after my comment.

just a timid hello
from Barbara