My Desk – A Reflection of My Life

Tree Against Sunset

As I approach my desk for round two of my writing session this morning I smile at the disarray of objects upon its surface.

A white feather quill pen is in the furtherest corner, a birthday present from my son a few years ago ‘to help with your writing Mamma’. Five pencils are lined up, ready to be sharpened. They have lain there for three weeks, dull and useless, with pens and a fountain pen tipped over them. In this heap are my ubiquitous Hals throat lozenges; these are littered wherever I sit down to work or read and if none are in the house I feel bereft and unable to concentrate.

Near the quill pen is a 16 inch tall cardboard cut-out of Heisenberg from ‘Breaking Bad’ complete with yellow suit and gas mask. I am a total fan of the series and am currently going through cold turkey after viewing the final episode.

Next to him are two postcards; one from Vietnam showing a typical floating market in the Mekong Delta. This is from a friend travelling there as I write. The other card is one I bought at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge after seeing  the Claude Monet’s  ‘Springtime’ (1886) there. Next to them stands a thank you card from another friend. Its brightly coloured flowers in equally decorative pots brighten this grey March day and shows how well she knows pot-mad me.

Bored yet? I hope not. Luckily this is a rather large wooden desk, with lots of room for knickknacks and every morning my iPad and I fight the same battle to make space for my keyboard and cup of tea. Yes, this was the reason for my break and with the fiercest of ginger tea – the one in the red packaging – I am sipping it from the mug bought for me by my son for my last birthday. On it are the words ‘Go away I’m writing’. I love it so. My only regret, I wish I was bothered by more visitors so I could swing the cup and its message at them.

For some quick music I lean over and switch on my pink iPod and to tell the time I look at my pink Beetle car ornament with clock in its door. There is more as a cuddly bear (from my son) cradles the sign 40 – so you know my age or so now! Then a sweet ornament of a boy lays on his side, engrossed in a book (from my mother).

A giant black Helix lamp is adorned with my costume jewellery, dangling down in shades of white, grey and gold. On either side of my iPad are various notebooks, A4 writing pads and files. Upon some are doodles I draw whilst thinking or talking on the phone. My reading glasses lay unused to one side as my eyes are still undecided if with or without is better for working on the computer.

To my right the beginning of my packing pile for the Easter holiday is growing with a shower cap perched precariously on my pink Blott writing pad and a turquoise nail varnish balanced on the edge of the desk. By my side rests my iPhone, an item, which for better or worse, has become an extension of my arm. Last but not least, my two coasters, a tile one made by son as young in primary school, the other one a heart shape bead one made many years ago by my niece.

I never realised how my family and friends surround me on a typical writing day, that one glance up is rewarded with a a sparkle  of love and warmth. And yes, fun too.

I would love to hear about your working space / desks. What surrounds you? Or do you prefer a clean tidy area in which to work? What precious items are there for you to look up at?

“To bring your attention to a stone, a tree or an animal does not mean to think about it, but simply to perceive it, to hold it in your awareness.”

By Eckhart Tolle

11 thoughts on “My Desk – A Reflection of My Life

  1. Barbara

    Thanks for sharing your writing desk Annika. (What a vivid and excellent writer you are!)
    I feel like I am visiting your house and seeing a warm, inviting place to sit and stay a while.
    Now that I am there….I will try to be very quiet and not ask too many questions about your new book. Just a friend looking over your shoulder trying to catch a glimpse of the words forming on the computer screen. Not bothersome at all…..right? 😊

    1. Never bothersome Barbara and you would be so welcome:-)) I’ll pull up a chair in my room, we can sit and talk whilst the afternoon sun streams in and warms us. Whilst I work, you can watch the white doves fly over the trees, around and around. Then I’ll take a break and please, do ask away and who knows, I think I might even let you read a chapter or two.

      1. Barbara

        White doves!!! I like those peace loving birds. They coo so softly and never cause a ruckus like other aggressive creatures. Would love watching them fly about. Then the offer that tops it all…..reading a few chapters of your new book!!!! What a wonderful invitation?!?! Thank You! But I will work hard to keep my questions to a minimum. Would not want to take a chance on becoming a nuisance and be politely asked to leave. Then I would have to be like those doves flying about outside your house.
        But no worries dear author. I would bring bread crumbs for the doves and I…..
        as we patiently wait on your new novel. 😉

  2. Mike

    I’m not sure I have a desk at home anymore. All I can see is a computer surrounded by paper, printer, empty mugs, crisp packets, chocolate wrappers photographs and newspapers. I’m not sure what that implies about my mind but I like to believe that all this stuff has formed a desk in it’s own right and stays up (to (mis) quote Douglas Adams) because it’s “high art”. I have to believe that because if not then the whole edifice will probably collapse – and, hey presto, no desk!

    And I won’t even talk about my desk at work

    Can’t wait to see what your next blog is about!


    1. Mike, you have me smiling here. I am sure your poor desk would still be there if you dismatled some of the ‘high art’ and put them in their proper recepticles, ie. the bin, recycling bin, sink…I feel sorry for those poor photographs hidden amongst that – dare I say – junk? Thank you for taking the time to share. As for next blog…be patient!

  3. Mirja

    Well Annika, I can happily erase the image of a struggling author in
    ‘the garret’ with fingerless mittens and big cardigan.
    Your workplace paints a place of fun and comfort. Love from your son and
    family. Lots of pink. Noticed the phone and nail varnish were not pink.:)

    My desk is made of beautiful wood so I attempt to clear it at times but alas,
    like yours it fills with items I cannot do without? My easel with paintboxes, 3 pots
    containing brushes and pens, woven basket with ‘all sorts’ (very useful) things,
    photos of both my children’s weddings, a letter holder with only treasured photos
    and post cards and…. . Docking station with I-pod – and yes:) I-Pad with Pink cover.

    Your quote is one I keep in mind daily, helps you feel life’s treasures more.

    1. Definitely not a garret, Mirja but in winter you will find me typing away with fingerless gloves and wrapped up in a throw! I can’t seem to keep warm. Love the sound of your art desk and everyone needs an ‘all sorts’ basket or drawer. Thought of the quote today but decided rather difficult to hold a tree in awareness when so cold! Ah…will look from inside out…

  4. Peter R

    My desk a reflection of my life? The surface of my desk is pristine; the surface, that is. However, it is totally hidden under a pile of credit-card slips, till receipts, bank statements, junk mail, assorted notes-to-self, and so on. Every couple of weeks I have a blitz, and clear (most) of it out of the way. Then the cycle begins again. Perhaps inside every cluttered mind there is a tidy mind trying to escape?

  5. Mary

    I know there is a saying “tidy desk, tidy mind”, but I believe that a very productive desk is usually cluttered due to lack of tidying time! Mine has a big pot of pens and a separate pot of pencils, as I am often sketching ideas. As it now sits in our new conservatory/office, I have plenty of natural light, which is heavenly, and a view of the garden. However, the best thing about my desk is that I often discover one of my cats curled up underneath it, and that is a very satisfying way to keep your toes warm whilst working!

    1. Mary, I’m floating away in your beautiful office, its light and view of the garden. How idyllic. Absolutely agree with you about being too busy to have much tidying time – well, that’s my excuse as well. Then your sweet cats – not only providing company but warmth too. Perfect. Such a cosy environment. Is there room for a desk for me too??:-)

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