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Sundays are a Day of Rest – by which I mean a Day of talking about the Rest of my life; that is, outside linguistics.

I don’t currently live where I would call home; I’m doing a summer season in France. This has good and bad points. I have time to read what I want, the weather’s better than in bonny Scotland, and I actually like working in a new country with – generally – nice people. On the flip side, there’s a fair amount of cleaning involved, I’m miles away from people I care about, and I live in a caravan mobile home.

My room’s about 3×6 metres.

On the left of the room are shelves of Kids’ Club equipment (buckets, spades, tennis rackets) and a brand new, fully packaged fridge. Some intelligent people managed to get it in through the window, then realised the door was too narrow. So there it will stay.

My bed, on the right of the room, is about half the size of a normal single bed. I also have 2 pieces of guttering under my bed, and several cardboard boxes (again, for Kids’ Club).

The above doesn’t actually annoy me that much. I didn’t bring that much out with me, it’s only for a few months, and I don’t intend to spend a lot of time indoors.

What annoys me is that I don’t have a bedside table.

On the floor by my bed (between me and the fridge, that is), this is my view:

My Lack of Bed-Side Table, Wedged Between a Packaged Fridge and a Miniature Bed

2 used envelopes (the post arrived today)
1 copy of An Introduction to Discourse Analysis by J. K. Chambers
1 copy of Pragmatics by George Yule (I know how to party)
1 copy of The Accidental by Ali Smith (just finished)
1 copy of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (just started)
1 diary (I’ve kept a diary most mights since I was 13)
1 clock (which still tells British time)
1 packet of earplugs (I live next door to some noisy Spaniards)
1 debit card
1 pen
1 Body Shop sun protecting lip gloss (tasty and healthy!)
1 pair of sunglasses
2 pieces of paper (contents currently unknown)
… And you can also see my bikini coming into the shot at the bottom.

As you can see, given the lack of room in there already, not having a bedside table doesn’t help.

I need somewhere to put a cup of water for during the night, for my phone to go so when my alarm goes off I don’t have to hunt around. I want my books to be in a little stack by my bed, which is neat and tidy. The clock – well, you can’t even see it from my bed, so even if it told the right time it would be useless.

And mess breeds mess. As soon as my books and clock and earplugs are in a disorganised pile, my sunglasses and lip gloss follow suit, and soon rogue pieces of paper are throwing themselves on the ground so they can have a chance of being in with the cool crew. The envelopes just like to wind me up. When they hear about this post they’ll probably be quite proud of themselves.

Well, it worked. I have never considered bed-side tables as essential, but now I’m considering launching a campaign to bring them to all corners of the world.