I don’t have an office. I have a desk tucked in a corner, with a bookshelf on one side and a wide window sill on the other. This way I’m close to the kitchen, which is essential for making cups of tea, keeping track of what I’m cooking for everyone’s dinner, and also for keeping an eye on homework. It’s cosy, but it works.
Most of the time.
Until, that is, I get a bit carried away with the all the journal papers I’m reading (or not), the various bits of paper that seem to accumulate all by themselves, the sticky notes that mysteriously unstick themselves from wherever they were stuck and float to the nearest surface, and the stacks of books that seem to come from nowhere, piling up to form miniature towers that teeter precariously whenever someone walks past. When this happens, the floor starts to look like my desk and the desk like how I imagine the inside of my head must look.
Which is why I am eternally grateful to have my wonderful research assistant. She keeps me on track, stepping on the keyboard at inopportune times, clicking on the mouse and either deleting something or answering an email when I wasn’t quite finished with it. Or simply sitting right in front of me so I can’t see the screen and purring loudly enough to drown out whatever fledgling thoughts were on their way to becoming something worth writing down.
Whatever would I do without her.