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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday 14 January 2010: What's your working style?

Today I enjoyed the unaccustomed treat of an early morning breakfast meeting at Bugatti's with colleagues eager to describe a recent fact-finding tour of US campuses. In contrast, my usual journey to work is to cross the dining room from my bedroom to my study. I flick the start up button on my PC , throw open the study doors onto the veranda and allow the fountain's babble of water drown out rush hour traffic rumbling past the walls of Thatchwick.

At 6.30 am this morning, pleasantly expelled from my insular workaday world , I was amazed at the individual 'offices' rapidly set up on nearly every table. Waiters took orders for bacon and eggs, waffles and juice, coffee and croissants while laptops flickered to life, Blackberries appeared, diaries opened and briefcases overflowed with papers and files. Then the 'offices' filled up as a companion or two arrived, similarly equipped for that 6.45 am meeting.

Where does everyone come from? Are conventional offices too quiet, too sterile, too much like routine? Is it the bacon and eggs over a latte, so much more attractive than a quick bite in one's home kitchen? Do ideas sprout more effectively in the anonymous buzz created by just-as-busy strangers? Being alone in the crowd?

I am fascinated by idiosyncratic working habits. Churchill wrote or dictated a couple of thousand words a week sitting up in bed. Marx was more conventional and worked in tomb-like silence (I would imagine) in the British Musem from opening to closing. Alice Munro wrote in 'slivers of time' while she did loads of washing and watched over toddlers. And your working habits?


Gaelyn said...

I like the home office idea. But then, when I work, I'm usually in the field. And don't find the "office" a very comfortable or creative space. Maybe that's why I work at home after work sometimes.

My current desk space is pretty comfortable and I'm working on making it mine.

I like your office space and location, especially the Big desk and all those bookcases.

Vicki Lane said...

As a writer of fiction, I work on my laptop sitting in a comfy chair with my feet up. I'm in a cluttered sewing/workroom upstairs in my house.

Like Alice Munro, I do loads of washing, stop to fix meals, etc, etc. I wish I had a toddler or two -- maybe it would help me write like her.

Avril said...

My 'workspace' is in the study/sewing room/ playroom for grandchildren/odds and ends space - needs a revamp .. urgently!!!