The room I work in isn’t my room. The books on the shelves are children’s books.
Under the books, G and E, or E and G, my daughters, have one side each for their files and text-books, pencil-cases, note-pads, sketch-pads, sheet-music, rough paper, lined paper, glue sticks and blue school diaries. And as the weeks of term slip by, the two sides merge in an unclaimed slump of neglect directly behind my chair.
The chair was a Christmas present from my husband to my back. It spins, the seat and arm-rests go up and down, and the lumbar support is adjustable. G and E, or E and G, like making their own adjustments which, every morning before starting work, I attempt to correct.
I must never attempt to correct their homework, which they now know better than to leave spread out on the table.
The table, a wall-paper bench, is designed to fold in an instant. Mum used to work at one end (ancient mac, anglepoise, square phone, pencil-pot, print-outs) and we would eat at the other (red-check table-cloth, two candles, three plates). No one ever actually gave in to the temptation to kick one of the hinges underneath, but if they had the table would have sunk to one knee with everything on it (chili, kidney beans, salad, rice) sliding to the floor.