In this small terraced house we call home every foot of real estate is hotly contested. Especially now we have to share it for weeks on end. Take, for instance, the ‘in-between’ room. Amusingly described as a third bedroom in the fevered imaginings of the estate agent’s listing, it would be more accurate to call it a corridor. There is room for a bed but you would need to climb over the bed of the person sleeping in it to get to the bedroom on the other side. And the person in that bedroom would have to climb over you to get to the toilet. Not that I want to underestimate the re-sale value of this desirable family home in the catchment area of some of the city’s best schools, resident’s parking and within easy walking distance of the town centre.
When our daughter went to university I had planned to turn the in-between room into a Warhammer 40k/model railway scale diorama/hot yoga studio as part of my search for meaning/hobby/mid-life crisis. Phil put the kibosh on that and claimed it as her home office. After all, I already had the ‘studio’ and she did not have a room of her own.
The main breadwinner of the house got her home office and there wasn’t even room for a yoga mat. Honestly, the sacrifices I make.
Anyway, you can either have a kid in college or a fantasy wargaming habit. It is impossible to sustain both unless you are Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. If I want a less expensive hobby I can always smoke crack.
When our daughter returned home from uni before Christmas the in-between room changed hands again and became her study space. A long ethernet cable winds it’s way up the stairs to provide just enough bandwidth to attend virtual lectures with sound and vision. Before it was sound or vision, not both together. This works as long as I don’t answer the phone as that immediately cuts off the signal. Fortunately I receive so few phone calls that on the rare occasions it rings I literally jump out of my chair.
This arrangement is handy as it means we don’t have two people attending virtual meetings in the same physical space. One of them participating in an important strategic meeting regarding museums and the other attending Alice Roberts’ anatomy lectures. The hilarious misunderstandings write themselves.
It’s not too surprising then that the infrastructure of our house is creaking under the strain of three people toiling under one roof. If our broadband was the Starship Enterprise then Scotty would spend all his time yelling, “Y’ cannae binge Parks and Recreation while I’m on a zoom call, Cap’n.”
“Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?”
This might partially explain why our daughter longs to return to college. No doubt she is missing her friends and new found independance. It could also be that it’s the location of the superior broadband and a room of her own in a different city.
Here on the Andi Watson Starship Enterprise we muddle along as best we can. The dilithium crystals are on their last legs, there’s no room on the holodeck for a yoga mat and for the time being we’re not going anywhere, least of all boldly.
In space no one can hear you hum the theme tune to Parks and Recreation.
The Book Tour is out in the world. So is Kerry and the Knight of the Forest. Please purchase copies and then write glowing reviews in prominant places online which editors and publishers consult before acquiring more of my books thus ensuring the fragile life cycle of my career continues.