Thursday 8 July 2010

The view from the window and back into the room.

Everyone's computer has a view. Unless you have your eyes shut, you are going to see something whilst you sit there typing. For a lot of people I guess that includes a window and I'm certainly amongst them. What can I see from where I sit? Well, my window looks out over the cul-de-sac where we live. Whilst it is a quiet backwater, it is off the main duel carriageway that forms the town's ring road, so I can see a lot of traffic as it pulls up at the intersection.
When I write I do sometimes find myself looking out of this window as I compose my thoughts. On a day like today the sun is shining brightly from a clear blue sky where there isn't a cloud in sight. It's rather nice. I can see the school children waiting at the bus stop at the end of the road, and the fire engines and police cars going in and out from the police and fire stations that are just down the road - there goes one now.
The road is tree lined, and so has a nice atmosphere to it. At the moment I've been watching the leaves fall in the autumn, but during the spring and summer it is full and green. There is also a railway line behind the left-hand row of houses, and a station beyond the trees. I get to know what time it is when I hear the sound of the squeal of brakes as the train pulls up at the platform or the revving of engines as it accelerates away. That is of course unless it is late! There is also a big steel girder bridge over the dual carriageway, and you can hear the change of wheel noise as it rumbles across it - there goes one now! Sometimes we even get on a weekend steam trains pulling through on a railtour from Carnforth. If I hurry down into the back garden as soon as I hear them I can usually catch a good sight of them. I’ve never got a photo yet though.
Of course, the room itself can be considered interesting too. If I look into the room I see the second largest upstairs room of the house. I am a total pedantic neat freak, so it is always just so. I inherit this streak from my Mother, though she is twice as bad as I am! Still, I like living in a clean and tidy abode.
The desk upon which I have my keyboard, mouse and monitor is solid pine with drawers in. I keep my clothes in this room, so the drawers contain knickers in one, camisoles and slips in another, stockings and suspender belts in the next one down, and several fancy corsets in the bottom. No pencils or post-its here! I might be neat, but I am rarely organised.
On the right side of the desk top is a turntable for playing LPs, and off the side of the desk is a 'mound' of technology, for want of a better word. A large server (usually switched off. What use do I really have for a powerful quad core techno-beast?) A file server and a former server that is now used as my desktop computer (well, it was cheap, and it works as a computer with a lot of power and plenty of drive space). There is also audio equipment from my time working in radio, occasionally used now though not as much as a decade ago.
Beyond that is a CD player and a laser mono printer, and beyond that a pine bookcase to match the desk with the assortment of books and things that didn’t really belong or fit on the main bookcases downstairs in the lounge.
At the far end is a single bed, convenient for lying on and thinking at. It's a not so well known fact that an author is legitimately allowed to daydream to formulate and develop ideas! It also doubles as a guest bed for whenever we have parties. At its side is a solid oak table in the shape of an octagon. My parents bought it many years ago from a junk shop in Sutton Coldfield just after they got married - they had a house but very little furniture. How times have changed. The lady in the shop said: "Keep bobbing, ducks!" as they left with the table, and they still have no idea to this day what she meant.
In front of the chimney breast is the antique oak chest that Zoë affectionately calls my 'train porn chest' on account of the fact I store a lot of model railway equipment in it. It came from my grandmother's house when she went into a home. It was made with salvaged timber from an old sailing ship being broken up in Hull in the 1930s/1940s. Sat on top of it is a quarter of my model railway, being used as a diorama to display models. Space is at a premium and the other three-quarters lie stored in a cupboard.
At one end is my writing bureau. Another antique piece from my parents' stash of surplus furniture. They came a long way and did 'keep bobbing' and when I moved out and got a house of my own I furnished it with all the surplus furniture that sat dusty in storage. My Father was glad to finally get his loft back.
Then we reach the final corner, and a pine wardrobe for the rest of my clothes. Strangely it is the only wardrobe in the house - Zoë prefers the judicious use of the floordrobe or the chairdrobe in our room. It drives me mad, but then I guess if we were both neat freaks, we would probably find that a whole lot more difficult to live with. I have too many clothes, and it brims with stuff hanging on the outside as well as the inside. There is a drawer at the front and I fill it with bras. What always gets me is how I can have so many clothes and yet still have absolutely nothing to wear? Oh a girls' life!
Does that yet bring an end to the guided tour? Well I suppose so. I look again to the window and see the sun has moved in the sky quite quickly since I started writing. It's brighter now, and the school children are gone - I guess their double decked bus came and went whilst I was hard at work. The traffic is also much lighter. It seems to just melt away when the time reaches nine o'clock and rush hour ends. Now would be a good time to get my car from where it sits just out of view below the window if there was anywhere I wanted to go. But I don't.
Nextdoor reverses his car from its parking space. Will he ever learn to drive properly? Does revving the guts out of a car from cold really improve its ability to move? I thought not too. Now I see the postman, coming with his big red sack. I wonder if he will bring any letters for us? Some days we get tons, and others we get none; it's all very hit and miss.
A knock on the door and I finally have to shift from my chair and go from my little den. Maybe there is some post for me after all.

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