Monday, December 17, 2007


Isn't this a disgraceful mess?

This is my (lack of) work space.

Our college term has ended but I have more than enough work to do with some substantial piles of essays to mark and classes to prepare for January. January which is now scarily imminent. And which will bring with it more piles of essays.

Just as getting a lot of books out of the library gives the satisfying (and easily achieved) feeling of having done some work without actually having done much at all, so clearing a viable work space will hopefully give me some sense of progress. As well as giving me.... space.... within which to work....

Items you might spot in these photos include:

1. photocopied articles - mainly needing to be filed, some for use in teaching preparation
2. wrapping paper - some Christmas gifts dispatched or given, most bought but not wrapped
3. books - library books, see above
4. OHP transparencies, mainly art of various kinds - teaching aids not filed away after classes
(i like to use a lot of pictures in classes)
(the picture on top here is the Venus of Willendorf)
5. Folders containing OHP transparencies - not put away since last used (and needed in any case for filing away transparencies used this term) (yes, theres a term's worth piled up here)
6. essays - to be marked (ptb)
7. attendance records - needing updating, also needing checking to report back on non-attending students
8. address book - for reference in christmas card writing
9. gloves - work bag unpacked, items not put away. Glove wearing weather.
10. white board pens and eraser - i scrawl, scribble and draw quite a bit during lectures
11. stack of receipts - cheque book needs to be balanced
12. bills - to be paid (ptb) or paid and needing to be filed
13. pencil with Clanger topper - of great comfort and support during essay marking
14. camera case - never far away
15. DVD of Wim Wenders Wings of Desire - watched with students last Friday, not put away (theme emerging?) (great film, i love it more every time i watch it)
16. Old Christmas cards, cut and kept as gift tags (see 2. above)
17. Guillotine - for Christmas card making.
18. Vaseline - for chapped lips. Chapped-lips weather.
19. Packet of scoubi doos - gift from student (????)
20. shoulder bag - semi-unpacked from last teaching session
21. Envelopes scattered about from my last rash of eBaying
22. Old pay slips waiting to be shredded and binned
23. ipod socks (and why not?)
24. Can of silver spray paint - over-enthusiastic plans for making own Christmas wrapping paper, now abandoned...

... cos there really is too much to do.

I do know everything which is here. I know where things are, I can find them when I need to. It is tidy and organised, in my head.

Look out for more frequent posts this week as I try to avoid all the work I should be doing.


Clangers - I am glad to be able once more to spread the word around the globe.
Clangers - wonderful magical funny surreal creation of vintage british kids TV hero Oliver Postgate. To be enlightened and delighted watch this - which is one of my fave episodes.


Reya Mellicker said...

As long as there's a copy of "Wings of Desire" at the top of the heap, any messy desk is OK by me. I loved that movie!

One of my favorite art teachers used to say "creativity requires a messy work space." I like using that phrase anytime I notice my room getting messy.

Clearly you worked way too hard this past term at school. I salute you!

Hubert said...

You should totally hire an organizer to take care of that for you. You have better things to do with your time. You should see my room before the maid comes in--it's a horror!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Are you sure you haven't been peeking through the window of my office here in Southern Ontario? I think you and I utilise the same office filing method, it's called Random.
But I bet you know where everything is, and can find anything you are looking for in an instant.
What's the use of putting important paperwork where you can't see it??

Ex-Shammickite said...

Hubert... you have a maid? Awesome!

Steve said...

Those Clangers again! :)

Seeing this really makes me want to get at it. I think I should become a professional organizer!

tut-tut said...

What do those within-easy-reach bottles contain??

Hubert, many of us ARE the maid . . .

Akelamalu said...

Oh you mucky pup Lettie! :)

call me betty said...

I'm sorry, am I missing something here? That desk looks perfectly normal to me....... :0)

d. chedwick bryant said...

Well, I see that you have a very nice desk, with lots of cubbies--it looks interesting and I'd like to see an "after shot of it" I love desks.

the only disturbing thing I saw was the poor little (mouse?) with a pencil shoved up it's bottom.

Donna said...

Organised chaos darling. I live like that too! My mum and sensible teenage daughter make lists, on paper, mine are in my head.

call me betty said...

I make lists on paper.

They're all over my desk!

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

relax, lettuce, you file the way Mother Earth does - in geological strata. You and Mother Earth are in perfect synchronism. And so am I. (Let's see, if it was in the Pre-Cambrian era, I mean six months ago, I should find it...HERE.) Perish the thought that an outside force should come along and mess up the system! Besides if Wings of Desire can float to the top of the pile - as, verily, it MUST - I ask you: where's the problem?

Shelly Lowenkopf said...

Truth is beauty.

kimy said...

looks all too familiar - I have long subscribed to that bit of bumper sticker wisdom espousing that "a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind" and proudly accepted and wore a pin given that said "I'm not messy, I'm creative"

ah and I see you find comfort and support in a mouse icon!

wings of desire - yes absolutely one of the best films ever!!

absolutely fabulous post.... love treasure hunts and looking at the pictures and reading the can you find? list made me feel I was on one!

Chick said...

It looks like my father's desk...I have no idea what his desk looks like because I have never seen it below all the STUFF.

Good luck avoiding the big clean up.

kimy said...

lettuce dear, mosey on over to the mouse there's a ROAR with your name on it waiting for you! ho ho ho!!

fifi said...

haven't been here before, but I think we might be distant relatives, going by that desk, its contents and your visitings to galleries...

love your photos. I wish to return to the uk immediately!!

ramblingwoman said...

Oh Lettie, I feel you will have to explain the Clanger again! This time with YOUTUBE!

Just to add to the list of things you have to do!

As you know I regularly enter your study - and yes there is a bit of floor space for visitors to stand and admire!

Queenie said...

I wouldn't dare let you see my P.C desk! Math has mess but he puts it in piles, thinking this makes it tidy, but he can never find anything, unlike me!

lettuce said...

oooh thats a good quote, thanks Reya. Keeping tidier would have required me to work harder, something i'm proud to be better at not doing!

no no hubert - how would i know then where things are?

i do indeed know, shammie. mostly...

ha! steve, i thought you might say something like this. You're welcome to come and tidy for me any time.

keen eyes, Tut tut. Pastis and elderberry syrup.

Lulu - :o(

Betty - :o)

it is very nice Ched, it was my father's and i love it, esp the cubby holes. I will post an "after" picture.
No clangers harmed on my desk and no shoving up bottoms, its sat (happily) on a little silver pillow. They are mouse-like but not mice - i will add an elucidatory note to my post, just for you.

lettuce said...

donna, i make lists too - i find they add nicely to the clutter.

as you say, Betty!

hey Lee, that is a wonderful and apt metaphor! i do indeed negotiate the mess in terms of the layers of time...

indeed shelly. ;-)

another like mind Kimy, i'm so glad. Mouse-like but not mouse, see the additional on my post!

chick i am avoiding nicely right now

on my way kimy.

hello fifi. Aren't we all distantly related? and welcome.

yes, done RW! couldn't be more different from your house, eh?

queenie, from time to time i try that puttimng in piles thing. it sometimes works, for a while...

tut-tut said...

Re: Clangers

They're knitted!!

Really, you must explain more about this; I sat entranced. Soothing, yet loony.

soup dragon trac said...

Oh well done for The Clangers!
I was going to leave this comment in the language of them, but realised that although I speak Clanger, I can not spell it!

I see your clock here is still on BST! - Wishful thinking eh? :O)

Trac said...

p.s. I once had a boss at EMI who told me that they were always suspicious of staff with tidy desks! She trusted me!!!

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hurrah - a desk as neatly arranged as mine. I, too, know exactly what's at the bottom of all the jumbled piles. I feel much better now!

And I'm so pleased you're going to be doing some serious displacing this week rather than messing around with all that vital stuff. Blogposts are much more important. If you leave the things you should be doing long enough they won't need doing!

Loved the Clanger reminder!

Sue x

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the video-- Dennis is my iron chicken---

I wish I had a soup well today!

xxx ooo chedwick

Lynne said...

No one ever has a tidy work space. I would steer clear of anyone who did! :) Mine is decidedly not.

Clangers, eh? Very cute!

lettuce said...

they are Tut Tut! which is only one of the ways in which they are delightful. Looney THEREFORE soothing?

i trust you too Trac. :o)

V2V - that is a lesson I have only recently learned - so much of this STUFF is out of date and therefore takes little time to throw it out.

Ched I wish i had a soup dragon too.

Aren't they, Lynne?

what a lot of also messy people read my blog! (except for you Steve... but you're most welcome anyway)

Pod said...

what ? hey?
all i can see is the clanger pencil top