I fell in love with my flat the moment I first saw the big, light, open living room where I now work. That was ten years ago, and, with my daughter then about to start university, I knew I’d have the place to myself for much of the time. It was a luxury, after years of earning my living in a corner of the spare bedroom, to feel I could put my desk wherever I wanted, to spend my working day in a room I could really enjoy, and to make my domestic space that of a professional writer.
I keep all the clutter – printer, tax stuff, spare envelopes – in the attic, so when friends are here,
it’s just my computer in a corner of the living room. My oak desk is Victorian Gothic, bought from the London antique dealer for whom I worked as my first job out of university, and who sent me on my way as a freelance arts journalist. I wrote my first book on a manual typewriter, so I still never take for granted the elegance of Mac computing.
From my desk I look out at the flats across the road and into the garden of the pub on the corner (where Pete Docherty and Amy Winehouse used to drink). I can watch my neighbours come and go, but know far less about them than I do about the characters in my head.
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