ON THE RETREAT
I signed a contract this week – no, not for a book – but for a superannuated garden shed or, as I like to think of it, a place to write. For years, I’ve crafted novels and carried out editorial work in bedrooms (in my home, I hasten to add.) Handy? Yup. If the mood takes me, I can sneak out of bed in the dead of night, cross a landing and ‘bingo’, my desk awaits, but there is one huge downside: it’s too easy to get into the habit of rocking up at the office at 3.00 a.m. You almost feel guilty if you walk away. And sometimes you really need to. It’s a mental trick and one I haven’t ever mastered so when we moved home a few weeks ago, I decided to realise a long-held ambition to work in the garden in a type of home from home.
As this was new terrain, I did what everyone does and pinged in ‘Garden Rooms’ on the internet only to discover a ton of companies out there. I also stumbled across the latest craze for ‘Pods’, trendy glass-fronted dwellings perfect for looking out to sea if you live on the coast. Cutting to the chase, I discarded the ultra cool garden design with the ultra expensive price tag and plumped for an ultra cool with a fair price tag (because I chose a local supplier who happens to be a builder rather than fancy himself as an architect.) The build starts on October 12th and I can’t be more excited.
Now detractors might say that if you’re a ‘proper’ writer then you can work in a café, hotel room, garage, garret or suspended from a clothesline. Me, I’m looking forward to separating my work life from personal and actually getting some kip. No, I won’t be ‘commuting’ with a lunch box or, indeed, installing a fridge in the ‘office’. But I also don’t think I’ll be stealing out across the garden well before dawn.