Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Gazebo of One's Own.

The cubby house at Oakleigh Farm Cottages.
My prototype for the girl-shed.
There isn't much room for writing, backstage in the B&B.

Each time we renovate a guest room we are forced to retreat further into the house, so now we are basically living, sleeping, cooking and working in two rooms.

Us, a dog and two cats.

Handy Husband has his man shed to escape to and he's promised to build me a writing gazebo in the garden - my very own grown-up cubby. The very idea keeps me sane.

In the meantime, we have partitioned off a corner of the sitting-room with some high bookshelves, behind which I sit at my desk managing the B&B bookings; fielding emails; producing and editing our little films; writing stories and now blogging.

Thanks to many years of working in busy in open-plan offices, I'm capable of shutting out the noise from the TV in the evenings (if I'm working and not watching it too), but music does my head in. If I'm writing, I can't keep the melodies and lyrics from invading my brain, so HH has to use his headphones.

As I pass the campsite on my daily walk to the dog beach, I often imagine how it could easily be worse. If we lived in one of those tiny caravans, we'd have to make every space useful - fill every nook with natty storage devices and whittle our possessions back to bare necessity.

I would have to get rid of all my stuff. All my books.

Sometimes I daydream about taking back the house - how the verandah guest room would make a wonderful light-filled study or artist's studio; the family-suite a generous master bedroom and it's bunk-room annexe could become a vast wardrobe.  

Then I remember that the only reason we even live in this house is because it's a B&B. If it wasn't a Bed and Breakfast;we wouldn't be here. Simple as that.

The guest rooms are for guests and it makes us an income - allowing us to live in this great part of the world and chase our dreams. It also makes many, many people very happy.

Besides, one day soon, Handy Husband is going to build me a girl-shed. He's promised.

Where do you write? Your own home-office? The kitchen table? In bed? 




  1. I am a bit spoilt because I have my own office. It is just off the kitchen though and gets invaded by small people and their paraphernalia on a regular basis...

    I like it though. it is the only room in the house that is cluttered. Can't cope with clutter anywhere except my office - this makes no sense and obviously says disturbing things about my psyche!

  2. hi kate! i write either on my desk or the lounge :) until i have an outdoor solution much like yours!

  3. hey kate, i found this: check it out, suits your home to a T! xxox

  4. Good luck getting your girl-shed, that sounds wonderful. I use a spare bedroom for my office, it's OK, but has a boring view (bare fence) and noisy neighbours (who periodically scream abuse at each other and their children), and not good natural light, so it's not nice for painting. But it is a whole room to myself, which is still a treat after many years of working in a corner of the living room.

    Your place is so lovely I can imagine the temptation to reclaim even just one room! But as you say - the reason you can live there in the first place IS those rooms for rent :)

    I can listen to music while writing, but can't manage radio or other sources of "talking" noise.

  5. Hi Kate, I too would love 'a room of one's own' as Virginia so eloquently put it. Living in a boatshed with a bathroom out the back poses similar problems to yours. I have an idea for a barn like Rachel Ashwell's but it's probably not going to happen anytime soon, although my husband humours me. You're right though, we are fortunate to be living in this part of the world, no matter how small the space.
    Beth x


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