I’ll be honest: what is being flogged as romantic in most magazines or travel brochures makes my skin crawl: tacky decorations, lots of pink and red, a bathtub at the foot of your bed (all the better to hear the gurgle of water draining, see a spider crawling out of the plughole and have to choose between romance of scum residue or scrubbing the bathtub immediately after use). So I’ve had to create my own definitions of romance.
I believe in separating your working and sleeping space, but I’ve heard of plenty of writers and readers who feel at their most comfortable (or most inspired) in their bedrooms. And what about if you have no other space for writing? So here are some elegant solutions to this quandary. Which don’t involve lying propped up on cushions in bed (although that is perfect for reading).
… Or should that be ‘the truly wise’? Because there is no better place for reading, especially when you are poorly, as I am at the moment. (Perfect timing for the long Ascension weekend in glorious sunshine – boo!) Besides, I can’t help but remember that doggerel rhyme by Dorothy Parker:
Daily dawns another day;
I must up, to make my way.
Though I dress and drink and eat,
Move my fingers and my feet,
Learn a little, here and there,
Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,
Hear a song, or watch a stage,
Leave some words upon a page,
Claim a foe, or hail a friend—
Bed awaits me at the end.
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall—
I’m a fool to rise at all!
Have you ever noticed how pathetically floral and pastel teenage girls’ bedrooms are? What I would have liked as a teen (and what I still like in a bedroom) was a cave-like atmosphere, with plenty of room for books, and a hankering for exploration and dreaming.
But if I were to go with the truly grandiose, I would have liked to have a room in a tower, a whole floor to myself. Below is just a small part of the ideal…
There is an irony in there somewhere. On those days when you need to accomplish so much, but all you’d like to do is curl up in bed with a good book. I must resist!