I shift a little uncomfortably on my rickety wooden chair, the chair that didn't come with the table but was moved here from the kitchen a few days ago, to sit alongside our newest piece of furniture.
Then I look down at the table top. Already it’s cluttered with the sort of things that conspire to fill any empty surface in our house. To my right, there’s a spiral bound notepad, the page half-covered with barely-legible writing. In the middle of it a wine stain forms a small but perfect ring of red fading to brown, the imprint of one of the tiny wineglasses that Philip loves so much. Beside that there’s another brown ring, this one made of Murano glass; bought years ago in Venice, worn to work today, but discarded now for irritating me as it tapped against the table.
Further back, half hidden by a plastic folder of papers from work, there’s a blue drinks coaster, the bright yellow sunflowers on its surface shine out at me, unblemished by red wine, usurped by a notepad, unused.
To my left there’s another open notebook, the pen lying on top of it is cracked and broken, placed there this morning after I’d trodden on it in the half-dark. Behind it there’s a pile of unread books, a DVD I haven’t yet watched, a CD of fairy tales that came free with the weekend papers. On top of all those, a pink satin make-up bag, whose zip won’t quite close, another pen (not broken), and my car keys.
The centre of the table is just big enough for my laptop, the laptop I should be using, on my new writing table, to write.
Instead, for the last hour or so, I've been browsing through Facebook, laughing at twitter, basking in the warmth of some very kind blog comments and worst of all, playing game after game of solitaire.
It’s dark outside and when I look up at the window, I see my reflection glaring back. I've always wanted a writing table, not the dining table with a different hat on, but a proper place to write; somewhere to sit and capture the thoughts and words that pile up throughout the day.