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Moving On

Mary Pickford writing at a desk
Mary Pickford at her writing desk (Image via Wikipedia)

Though I’ve lived in this house for 21 years, every so often I feel an irresistible urge to rearrange the furniture. While new neighbours and their furniture vans have come and gone all around me – never more so than just now – I’m acting as if I’m still settling in.

This weekend, the acquisition of a new bookcase was the trigger. Once that was in place, I felt compelled to move the sofa to a different spot. Next an armchair, then a rug and a table – and before I knew it, I was upstairs rotating my bed 90 degrees. Realising this new layout provides a much better view on waking, I wonder why didn’t I use it before. Then I remember that I did, at least once, about ten years ago. I repositioned it during a subsequent feng shui phase when I discovered it was unfavourable not to be able to see the door from your pillow.

But no matter how much I move things about, I still never arrive at the perfect layout. It drives my husband mad. It’s bad enough when he can’t find his car keys: not being able to find his armchair is far worse.

A psychologist would have a field day with my restlessness. Is it all just displacement activity to avoid the things I know I really ought to be doing? That unfinished manuscript calls….

One thing’s for certain: I could never be one of those people who moves house every couple of years. I’d be in a constant state of exhaustion.

Fortunately, relocation is not on my agenda. Which means I’ve still got time to get the house straight before I die. In fact, that could be the title of my autobiography: “I’ll get it right before I die”. (On my gravestone will be “At last! An uninterrupted lie-in!”) That’s if I can ever decide on the best place to put my writing desk…

(This post was originally written for the Hawkesbury Parish News, November 2011)


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

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