“If lust be one of the deadly sins, then I am guilty”
Judith Baxter 1938 –
I was visiting my very new Father-in-law (well new to me anyway) in the family home. He had not attended our wedding although he had sent good wishes and a cheque and this was the first time I was to meet him.
My very new husband and I went into the library to meet his father and there under a window was this magnificent desk. I lusted after it from the moment I first saw it. It was the most beautiful piece of furniture that I had ever set eyes upon.
Shin ing with the patina of years of polishing and glowing in the afternoon sun. I managed to speak to this new person in my life, but couldn’t take my eyes off his desk.
He couldn’t fail to notice that my eyes kept wandering to the desk and he quickly put me out of my misery. He pulled out the chair and told me to sit. This I did with alacrity and was soon running my hands over the beautiful mahogany surface, afraid that I would leave finger marks all over it. He then suggested that I open the lid and investigate all the little drawers under it and I saw how beautifully they slid in and out. He pointed out that there were no nails at all in the desk. All the joins/connections were made with dowel rods and were perfect. As my father and his family were all cabinet makers and/or woodcarvers by trade, I knew a bit about furniture making.
There were several larger drawers where he kept his papers, but I was fascinated with the little drawers and cubby holes.
I was quite sure that if I owned such a magnificent desk I could conquer the world with my writing.
Each time we visited I went into the library and looked
lustfully lovingly at ‘my desk’. I hungered for this piece of furniture although at the time we owned (with the bank) a semi-detached house that had no room for such a piece of furniture. But oh how that desk would have lifted that ordinary little house from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
charms greed innocence of youth, I really thought that at some stage we/I would own that desk. Alas, it was not to be. We left Scotland to start our travels around the world and the desk and all the other wonderful antiques stayed in that house in Scotland. I wonder where it is now.
I have since purchased a roll-top desk but it is not nearly as beautiful as ‘my desk’. I scour antique shops in the hope that I might discover another beauty but so far I have been unsuccessful. But I keep looking.
And what is my desk like now? Well, it is a functional metal frame with a glass top and as you can see, it is unlikely that I would get everything I need onto ‘my desk’.
To be able to write I do need all these things. The coffee being constantly replenished, the Filofax in case Mr Right wants to take me away from all this, hand cream and nail varnish (what woman can exist without these essentials) the dictionary and the flip-top daily laugh sayings that my grandchildren bought for me. They tell me that they immediately thought of me when they saw it. Today I flipped it over and this is what I found.
And sometimes I have some extra help from my four-legged friend.
So with all that in mind, and still on the hunt for a replacement for ‘my desk’ I will be satisfied for now with what I have.
A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.
John le Carre , 1931 –
- Is Your Desk a Mess? (casasugar.com)