Tiles, Rings, Sheds and Other Distractions

You may notice, from this week’s photo, that I am back at my other work; teaching at university. All this signs are there; hair is styled (this is as good as it gets), I’m dressed properly, and makeup has been applied. No dark circles under the eyes yet, but wait until Christmas – I’ll look like I’ve been sparring with Wladimir Klitschko.

And because my life gets complicated and stupidly busy as the academic year rolls out, I am trying to tie up loose ends.

I got the chimney swept but the tape that the sweep used pulled up some broken tiles. I’m tracking down some 1930s replacements. My shed is too small and leaks  –  we’ve got tarp-covered stuff all over the garden and the bad weather is coming. The ring that I bought to replace my engagement ring (stolen in France) got caught in a child’s pullover this summer and I lost the stone. The insurance company have just sent a cheque, saying it’s a write-off. I feel weird without a ring on that finger…

And so my writing time shrinks. It seems more important to do all the other things. I’m sitting here, looking at the broken fireplace tiles as I type and…it bothers me. Typing without a ring…bothers me. Hearing the rain start on my torn shed roofing…bothers me.

And when I’m sufficiently bothered about things, I find it hard to concentrate on my writing.

My husband understands. He’s promised to lay a new shed base. I am using my insurance payout for a modest ring and a new shed, and although he thinks its odd that I’d rather have a shed than diamonds, he wants to help get it sorted as soon as possible.

We talked about it just this morning. And then he looked at the old shed. He said, ‘If we move it, can I have it, for my winemaking?’

‘No.’ I had surprised both of us. ‘No,’ I heard myself say again, decisively. ‘I’m going to put it at the bottom of the garden, for my writing.’

I’ll paint it white with green trim. I’ll insulate it and put in a tiny woodstove, a chair, a desk and some shelves.

And I won’t be distracted anymore, by anything.

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