A finely tuned working environment

Sunday Morning Mutterings – Get thee to a sluttery

‘Hello to Jason Issacs’.

If you recognise that greeting then you are most probably a member of The Church of Wittertainment, aka the considerable audience of Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review. Thanks to Simon Mayo, last week I discovered a new favourite word. Previously that word had been eclectic, while my best friend’s is esoteric, even if his wife assures me that he does not what it actually means, although he spends a lot of his time wandering around old buildings looking for arcane symbols and muttering to himself…

In a recent podcast, Simon mentioned the word ‘Sluttery’. Stop sniggering at the back – it is not what you are thinking. A sluttery is a room where things at first glance seem to be in disarray, yet it is a laboratory for creative thought.

As a freelance writer, I tend to live by chaos theory and crisis management at the best of times. As the photograph proves, I am hardly going to appear in an episode of ‘Through the Keyhole’ (I wonder who lives here? Withnail and I?)

My personal style is somewhat ramshackle. When a US-based friend came to visit with her children for the first time, she took one look around my house and said ‘See kids, this is what happens when a man lives alone…’

Last week I had guests up to the Casita for lunch. Their 11-year-old son was amazed at the disorganisation on display in my working space. Another friend, who has known me for two decades explained that my abode was – ‘…not like a real house. It’s a grown up den!’ 

What may look like organised chaos to the casual observer, however, is a finely tuned filing system with everything to hand. I can find most things blindfolded, which is especially handy when the generator breaks down. As it did a few days ago…

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