For this week's Sleep is for the week writing workshop I chose writing prompt number 5:
Sit in a room of your house you spend a lot of time in. And really LOOK. Notice all the details you usually miss, and describe them with all the creativity you can muster. Let the every-day inspire you.
I spend a great deal of time sitting at our dining table. I'm either feeding myself, feeding my children or playing on my laptop. So for this exercise I don't need to move.
Looking around me I firstly take in the piles of stuff.
I see my higgledy piggledy 'to do' heap, including:
An unpaid Barclaycard bill.
A nursery brochure. I must put Presley's name down NOW or he won't have a place next September.
The leaflet that came with the boys' playgroup photographs. I will write that cheque before we go tomorrow.
My note pad, open at the 'to do' list.
An envelope with another, more urgent, list of 'to do's'.
A printout of a short story I wrote using one of the spooky prompts given to us at last month's creative writing group. I'm going to a live literature night later on. There are open mic spots available. There's even one reserved for our group. Dare I get up on stage and read my short story? No, probably not. If they're desperate though... I'll take it with me. Just in case.
I see unread Sunday newspapers that are half obscured by a wood veneer table mat. I write 'new table mats' on my Christmas list in the notebook. They go directly below the slanket.
I see the highchairs, a tangle of straps and missed mouth morsels. They stand on an alphabet splash mat. Andy and I enjoy the odd quick game of splash mat Boggle. Today I can see the word Dior. I hadn't noticed that one before. I must pick those crusts up before the boys come downstairs after their naps. Cash will probably pick a crust up and start eating it. Of course he wouldn't eat it at lunchtime, but stolen food clearly tastes better!
I've been trying to avoid looking at the ceiling, walls and floor. I don't mind looking at Andy's framed postcards on the wall in front of me. They're an odd collection: the boss-eyes cat, the sad clown being cuddled by a monkey, the Elvis caricature with the quiff, the fat man sitting on a chair in his pants and the old woman walking through a meadow with her skirt billowing Marilyn Monroe style.
We came house-hunting when I was seven months pregnant with Presley. We drove up to Preston from Surrey one weekend and saw fifteen houses. We'd done our preparation. We had a checklist for each property with tick boxes for number of bedrooms, gas central heating and space to record whether there was room to hide a Dyson upstairs and was there adequate visitor parking. We made notes so we would remember each place we viewed, so we could weigh up our options. Of course we completely forgot that you know within seconds of walking up to the front door whether you can see yourself living there. We still dutifully filled in our checklists.
We had seen Location Location Location. We knew that you have to look at the potential of the house and ignore any decoration that is not to your taste. That is cosmetic and can be easily changed.
On the checklist for this house I had written.
There was Anaglypta wallpaper everywhere. Fortunately most of it was painted white. There were accented walls swirling with peach and pale green patterned shiny wallpaper. Coordinating peach and pale green borders were stuck on the coving. Green paint had been lovingly applied to parts of the ceiling roses. The curtains were a deep peach velvet with brocaded tie-backs. The carpet was new. It was green with peach flowers on it. It's the sort of carpet that doesn't show the dirt.
We'll decorate one day.