Like any home-from-home, we cherish our workspaces, adding personal touches; an inspirational picture here, a favourite tool on prominent display there, and perhaps a special coffee mug bearing a felicitous slogan on the work top. My workspace has neither the room nor the need for embellishment: I have a sweet-scented jasmine for a wall, fruit-bearing lemon and lime trees for a splash of colour and the sky as my ceiling.
Virginia, on the other hand, has the run of the entire garage. I don’t know how it’s decorated because I’m not allowed in there, but judging by the amount of stuff that’s secreted into the garage in very large shopping bags, I can only surmise it looks pretty damned spectacular!
Virginia announced at breakfast this morning that she was going to stick some cork tiles up in her workspace (presumably to pin some inspirational posters to). I peered out at the grim weather with the realisation it was highly improbable I was going to get any further with my chest of drawers today. I looked back at Virginia and agreed the cork tiles were an excellent idea!
A little later I heard the jingle of keys and Virginia stuck her head into the office to say she was off to the hardware store to purchase cork tiles and some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Dovetails! (construction adhesive to you and me). Shortly afterwards I heard the car return and briefly sighted Virginia sailing through the house en route to the garage with yet another extremely large shopping bag of stuff.
Imprisoned by the brumal conditions, I was engrossed in a small matter on my computer, until a succession of internal rumblings occasioned me to glance at the clock. Ye Gods! Three O’clock and no lunch! I went in search of Virginia to enquire about the absence of vital sustenance, but she wasn’t anywhere to be found.
It was while cutting myself a few slices of Cheddar that I thought I perceived distant banging and the muffled screams of a woman. I stopped chewing so I could better determine the source of the racket. It definitely sounded like frantic banging and I was certain I could hear cothurnal cries. I slipped the cheese back in the fridge and braved the puddles as I walked round to the garage.
As I approached the garage door, I could see it heaving under the blows it was receiving from within. I tried the door, but it was locked.
“What’s going on?” I shouted over the continual rumpus.
“I can’t get out!” came the indignant reply.
“Will you get the key and open the big door? Please!”
I went back inside and picked up the garage keys – and another healthy slice of Cheddar. I unlocked the up-and-over door and a very irate Virginia stormed straight past me and into the house.
I knew better than to enquire what had transpired in the garage, but as we sat eating our late lunch, Virginia revealed the sequence of events: She had decided to mount the cork tiles on the inside of the access door (as, seemingly, it was otherwise wasted space ). She stuck the tiles to the door and got on with preparing what ever it was she was going to pin to the cork, to give the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Dovetails! appropriate time to cure. Unbeknownst to Virginia, when she pressed the cork tiles firmly onto the door, surplus sticky stuff had oozed into the gap between the door and the jamb.
As we finished our cheese sandwiches (well actually, I elected not to have any cheese in mine because there was an apparent shortfall and Virginia had that hungry/angry look about her), I looked out at my workspace. The sun was out, the ground was almost dry and the glistening lemons beckoned. I really like my simple workspace.