Garret, anyone…?

Saturday 4th February 2012

TURN the radiators off, stick a mattress on the floor, get a wash-stand and chamber-pot. Already has the odd patch of damp… and some good beams to bang your head on (he beams): not exactly ‘starving’, but I could rustle up a bowl of gruel if you insisted. Fancy it?

Writers only, please; reclusive types preferred.

The floor, I should add, does slope a bit, but there are chocks under the wardrobe and bed: all part of the 17th century charm. Is not the Leaning Tower of Pisa also a listed building?

Gone are the days of a daughter’s Lord of the Rings posters, of teenage
sleep-overs, of her towels hung over the banister, of pie nights sitting on the floor watching Star Wars videos for the umpteenth time.

The Attic, therefore, needs to undergo a management re-structuring programme. Yesterday, I called it into the office for an appraisal.

“Don’t get me wrong… you’ve given good service over the years, but I’m wondering if we’re getting the best out of you. Might you be interested in, er… taking on more responsibility?”


“Isn’t it… rather lonely? you know, up there, on your own?”


“So tell me… where do you see yourself in ten years time?”


“Well, er… let me know if you have any bright ideas…”

“Or rite.”

Perhaps it’s me: long conversations can become a strain these days. I retreated to the kitchen.

Retreat? Ooo! There’s a thought. What if…?

You’d have to make your own breakfast, mind, but I’ve always got loads of cereal, bread and jam; milk’s delivered; kitchen’s tidy, user-friendly; both bath and shower; wifi but no television and only a weak mobile signal, which is what you’d want on a writing retreat, isn’t it?

There’d be a few other considerations, of course… how much time we’d spend discussing what you’re writing; how many actual days in the Cotswolds you would want; how often we get a take-away in: things like that. I insist on doing the washing-up, incidentally: my one forté.


And you could always bring one of those pens that looks like a quill…






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