Kit de Waal experiences an epiphany when she moves house and finds a new favourite place to write


In October, I moved house for the first time in 22 years. I’ve gone down size-wise from a big Victorian villa, complete with rattling windows and eye-watering heating bills, to a two-bedroomed flat, renovated by a builder with a good eye and styled to within an inch of its life.
I viewed it eagerly, imagining that some of that style might rub off. Instead of shuffling about in Primark joggers, in this spanking new Regency conversion, I might graduate to cashmere yoga slacks and find myself, overnight after completion, svelt, groomed and sophisticated. I am nothing if not a sucker for a pipe-dream, so I bought the place, halved my books, quartered my furniture and got the keys in six weeks. Neither the cashmere pants nor the size ten backside have materialised.

What I have gained though is a sort of stillness that I didn’t expect. There’s a place by the bedroom window where I temporarily wedged my desk, thinking I would move it later when I rearranged the furniture à la Pinterest. But every single time I sit there I just want to write. And not just write but write with a real pen, on real paper (something I rarely do).
I have no curtains at the window, the radiator doesn’t work properly and there’s no plug socket nearby for a lamp—and yet the place has something magical. If I believed in feng shui, I would say that it balances the room somehow, or that it faces east (I have no idea) or that it sits in a river of energy (I made that up) but I’ve never really been one for dissecting why some things feel right and others grate on your soul. […]

Content is restricted to subscribers – to continue reading please log-in via Exact Editions or contact us about a print or digital subscription.

books ireland logo green
March/April2019 (issue no.384)

Books Ireland is gratefully supported by the following organisations:

May Book Competition

The Doctor Who Sat for a Year

By Brendan Kelly

The twelve-month project of a self-confessed ‘Zen failure’

for a chance to win:

The Doctor Who Sat for a Year
By Brendan Kelly
ISBN: 978-0-7171-8457-6
Publisher: Gill Books



Books Ireland is looking for new writers. Read our full Submission Guidelines


Do you want to Advertise with us? To know more about us and to download our rate card click here

‘Books Ireland provides a breathing space, a garden if you will, where literature may continue to be valued for its own sake and discussed and appreciated in a climate of intellectual freedom and relaxation.’
Eamonn Kelly, playwright and award-winning short-storyist
‘An indispensable institution for reader, writer and bookmaker alike.’
Antony Farrell, publisher at Lilliput
‘Books Ireland is a creative asset for writers, editors, publishing houses and the media, and is a unique record of publishing in Ireland.'
Michael O’Brien, O’Brien Press
‘Books Ireland performs an invaluable service in broadcasting to the wider literary and book-reading world the variety of publishing enterprises in Ireland’
R. F. Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History, University of Oxford

WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By :