I face away from the window when I write. I would love to sit and stare outside, but the architect who put this building together didn't think about that. The window ledge is too high. So every so often I get up, turn round, and look out.
In the last few weeks, this is often what I see.
This is a view that makes me inordinately happy. It transports me back to my countryside childhood. I spent one spring spying on fox cubs in the field below the house where I was born. It wasn't entirely romantic: when I found one of them dead at the side of the road, I asked my Mum if I could bring it home and bury it in the garden. I was allowed to, but there was a condition. There was something she wanted too. Three months after we buried it (maybe it wasn't exactly three months, that's just the memory I've created) she dug it up, so that she could draw its skull.
I've been wondering about views and writing settings in general. How much do they matter? Do we need windows to look out of? Or are they distracting? There's something about that fox, strange, but it feels like there's a little bit of me out there with her/him. Not sure what that means, if anything at all.
And what about writing spaces? I used to have a little office, but I don't anymore. I wish I did. It wasn't very special. In fact the plasterboard wall we put in to divide one medium sized room into two small rooms remained just that, bare plasterboard. The only decoration was the chalk board paint I used to cover the door, so I could make notes. The pictures and scribblings I pinned to the wall I faced when I wrote, tended to get obscured by drawings my daughter did for me. Homeless drawings always won. I did have a nice chair though. I could be in one place in my tiny room and write and move to another to read. Bliss. I'm not sure what I think about surroundings and how much they matter, though. I've never written in a café, but on many a bench in many a playground. I found a café in Schoeneberg quite by accident recently that I thought might be a nice place to write. If I were able to chose a workspace, where I could sit and write for the forseeable future, I would choose a room with a view, but I haven't a clue how I would decorate the space. All the time I was decorating, I'd be asking myself why I wasn't writing. And yet, wouldn't it be nice... The thing that puts me off (apart from not having any money) is this: mainly, the people I've known who spent a lot of time getting their work spaces perfect, were finding a way to put off finding out whether or not they were really going to write the novel they said they wanted to write.