I do a little administration these days, and spend more time sitting at a desk than I used to. This has its ups (second breakfast) and its downs (groaning in-tray, not really an in-tray at all, but a static pile which refuses to compost).
And I’m not sure if it’s an up or a down, but I have started to eat my lunch at my desk. I mention this, not as testament to my industrious soul (I haven’t got one), but rather to my conventional one. To work at a desk, after all, is to conform in all sorts of ways.
Yesterday, however, while my lunch was a classic improvisation of the age – left over lasagna, chopped into ragged bits and scooped from a special microwaveable (i.e. non-microwaveable) cup – I did not eat it at my desk. I rebelled. Instead I ate it standing at the bottom of the stairs by the library (next door to the kitchen, not coincidentally). It is peaceful down there, and represents a change of view, and when you eat hot food in the cold outdoors it always tastes like trail food anyway, so it didn’t matter that it was an hideous parody of the culinary arts. My lunch, you might say, smacked of boundless adventure. Context is everything (not to mention a vivid imagination).
And then, lunch done – in about two-and-a-half minutes, including preparation time and a conversation with Vibeke (going home to a proper lunch, I’ll bet) snatched between mouthfuls of mulch – it was back upstairs to my desk, where I stared hard at my in-tray, to see if there had been any movement in my absence.