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Sunday, 13 April 2014

The solitude of writing. Please send Prince Charming...

Writing.  It isn't just another word for sitting alone in a room making paper unicorns, staring out of the window and wondering what's for dinner you know.  It's a Real Thing.  And, increasingly, it's a real thing that demands quiet, contemplation, chocolate and Being Left Alone sometimes for quite dramatically long periods of time.

Not like centuries or anything, because being shut in a room alone for centuries would make me...well, Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel.  I am neither of those things.  Although, I suppose my house could be mistaken for Sleeping Beauty's castle, what with all the undergrowth outside and the things growing up the walls (I have a fern growing in my kitchen.  Not in a pot or anything, just In. My. Kitchen. And the places you can find mushrooms?  Not limited to the fridge. All I am saying).  But any Prince Charming attempting to scale the walls and wake me with a kiss...well, I think he would swiftly abseil back down again, shuddering, and kiss his horse in preference.  In fact, therapy would probably be necessary... "I went in there and...and...no, it's too horrible..haven't you got any dolls I could use to show you?"

"Like this, but lying down!  The horror, the horror..."

So, no.  But I can spend long periods of time doing nothing but staring at a keyboard, muttering.  Actually, I'm not really muttering, it's my mouth practicing for the next biscuit, but it's always more impressive if people think you are rehearsing dialogue in your head.

I used to be able to write in a room full of people.  Obviously those people had to be engaged in other activities, not rushing up and poking me to see how far away they could get before I lurched to my feet and came after them, but I could still do it.  However, now that the Other People are large, and come and go to University and other activities, my presence among them is punctuated by Jeremy Kyle, the Real Housewives of wherever it is that they are supposed to be real housewives of, however I have yet to see even one of them wield a mop, and arguing.

So I write in here.  It's quiet, there is chocolate and I can't see the huge stacks of washing up that accrete around large children.  And soon most of them will return to University or college or wherever it is that they go for stretches of time, for all I know half of them are in prison and just come home on some day-release arrangement, and I shall be able to venture forth cautiously into the wider world, clutching my laptop and my HobNobs and maybe get some fresh air.  But for now... LOCK THE DOOR LOCK THE DOOR!  THEY'RE TRYING TO GET IN! HELP HELP HEL




10 comments:

Lesley Cookman said...

And what happens next is: when they've left home for good (haha!) they suddenly appear and want you to talk to them, or make up the spare bed, and give them food and alcohol. It's no use bleating "But I've got this book to finish, and the deadline was last thursday". The raised eyebrows say quite clearly "But I'm your CHILD! Nothing can be as important as ME."

Jane Lovering said...

Terrific. Just terrific. I shall have to move into a shepherd's hut so there's no room for them. Just me, the shepherd and 40,000 ewes...

Jan Jones said...

You mean Rip Van Winkle, dear. Rapunzel was the one with the hair.

Jane Lovering said...

Didn't she spend ages shut in a room though, Jan? Although I must admit I can't really do the hair...and I do feel a bit like Rip van Winkle, whenever I mention something and the children roll their eyes and say 'that was soooo last decade, mother'. And Spangles, they don't even remember Spangles! Er. Maybe I do mean Rip van Winkle then...

Jan Jones said...

Oh, yes, she did that. A nice quiet tower, it was. Regular food and everything... *wistful thoughts*

Lesley Cookman said...

But think how much it hurt with people climbing up your hair. I odn't even like my cats eating mine...

Glynis said...

Or the kids are no longer in need of you, and you gain a mother - a very needy mother. However, there is a summerhouse with your name on it once you have cleared it out of its mountain of wool and other cr*p! How alike our lives are but without the fern and mushrooms! Great post! :)

Chris Stovell said...

And as the children grow up, they return with more and more people! There are times when we're snowed under with visitors when I think the only answer is to buy myself a little island off the coast here (this is my writer's imagination running wild, of course, since I can't even buy myself a plastic Tracy Island let alone a real one). Have a consolatory cream puff.

Jane Lovering said...

Well, thank you Glynis and Chris, I feel..well, not encouraged, that would be the wrong word...what's the word I'm after? Exhausted probably. I don't even have a shed..maybe I should get on with building one before they next come back. Then I can barricade myself in there, with the cream puffs and the HobNobs and only come out when they've gone! Sound like a plan?

Flowerpot said...

one very big advantage of not having children. though I do have animals, men ....... etc.....