Working from home is a little like spending a length of time with loved ones; although the idea initially seemed appealing, after a couple of days one does begin to become somewhat aware of the inadequacies of the situation.
My “desk” at the moment is not the elegant Louis XV bureau plat I have at Guinevere, it is, in fact, in my kitchen and I have to say it is not all it could be. It is a small, slightly wobbly kitchen table. With no ormolu mounts.
How quickly the veneer of civilisation begins to crack.
My laptop must share space with a silver-plate teapot that really could do with a good clean, hand sanitizer, an ashtray full of elastic bands and receipts that I should go through sometime, a brochure from a mail order cashmere company that I am using to write a ridiculously optimistic shopping list on: Loo roll, antibacterial wipes, pasta, eggs, you know the type of thing and a small bolt I found on the floor that may belong to something important.
I think I bought a roll-neck sweater from the cashmere company about five years ago and since then they have been kind enough to send me a brochure, as one of their best and most valued customers, on an almost weekly basis. They seem to have a permanent sale on; I wonder if anyone has ever managed to pay full price for one of their items.
I do, actually, have a proper grown-up desk in one of the bedrooms, but we lost it sometime ago to piles. Piles of paper I am going to sort out and magazines that I might have saved because there was an article in them I fancied reading, or maybe not.
It could all be so different. There’s room in the sitting room, a large light filled room, for something so much better. My flat is in a 1930’s block and if I were to clear a bit of space in the bay window, Guinevere’s Italian Art Deco vellum desk would be the obvious choice (right image). I am, however, drawn to the slightly grander option of a Regence style lacquered bureau plat (left image)
Every desk, of course, needs a light and my choice would be a 1970’s George Mathias lamp with etched bronze front with applied agate . Not the most practical choice but it would look good on the Regence bureau plat or the vellum Art Deco and I don’t like being over-lit anyway.
I would like to sit on a William IV klismos style desk chair , it’s curved back a comfortable support if I should occasionally lean back to pause and reflect, mid flow.
I suppose I ought to choose some sort of desk top box as well, something in which to put all the useful bits of things and papers that are probably of no use what so ever, but it is essential I must keep. I like a C19th red tortoiseshell casket with ormolu mounts and if I should find I need a little more storage I think I could probably add an Austrian leather Travelling case as well.
When all is said and done, I am, at heart a simple Northern lad with simple tastes, but if I were to allow myself one more tiny indulgence, Guinevere does have a very lovely Mid 19th Century Austrian ormolu & hardstone 4 piece desk set.
That is all.
The stage is set, my desk complete. Now all I must do is try to write with the eloquence and gravitas such an ensemble requires.
Reader, all we can do is watch and wait. And maybe pray.