Sofa

Four seats, the places that I sit

Looking back over the past year, I've come to realise that there are four key places I sit in our house. Each one serves a different purpose and provides a different service.

The first, where I am writing this post, is the kitchen sofa. This is most definitely a morning space. Soft, comfy and with a view of our garden through patio doors. These offer plenty of natural light to this spot and along with the kitchen-diner space creates a thoughtful place. I mostly enjoy this space alone, before my family wake or after they have left for the day. Ideally, I sit here with a large cup of Assam tea and contemplate. My mind can wander freely. I’m alone with my thoughts, only distracted by birds fighting over the feeders, I could sit here for hours pondering and planning. By three o’clock the sun has moved to shine directly onto my face. While this is both warming and delightful it does make it difficult to read anything. In the evening this spot can become a place of reflection or a place to read. It can offer an out-of-the-way space to sit and socialise with whoever is preparing dinner too.

The second place I sit in is my office chair which has almost become my permanent residence. Prior to lockdown, this was a place for life admin and personal creative pursuits. While I do work within the creative industry, this seat has become a ‘place of work’. I feel privileged and am truly grateful to have a separate space to work, that isn’t the kitchen table or the end of my bed. However, working full-time from home has taken the fun out of the room. I’ve optimised my desk position and height and, with the help of my employer, purchased a comfy, supportive seat during this time, but it still feels like a workplace rather than a creative space. To think and explore ideas, I tend to return to the kitchen sofa.

The third seat, is the living room sofa. Usually an evening position, it is one of relaxation. It’s a sofa much like the one in the Kitchen. It’s the same style, colour and sitting on one I can see the other. However, it definitely has its own vibe. I’ve noticed that I even sit on this one differently too, more laidback. It’s a place to relax, unwind and be entertained – usually by the screen opposite. It’s definitely not a morning seat, even with plenty of natural light and what I would consider a reasonable amount of space, it just doesn’t feel right. It’s a space I share with Clare most nights and occasionally both our kids will squeeze on for shared family time, which always fills me with joy.

My fourth place is the dining table. While this is a functional seat, it has chameleon-like qualities. In the mornings I normally sit there alone. Sometimes taking in the news with my breakfast, at other times just my thoughts. Lunch may also be solitary, depending on who is home, but our evening meal is a whole family social affair. A time to chat, to catch up, to hear about each other’s days, our learnings and debate the current hot topics. It’s a loving, warm place to be. I’m grateful to have a dining table, but even more grateful that my whole family all want to spend time together around it.

Latest thoughts

Mental Health Week: How photography helped me

During the second half of 2017, I hit a psychological wall. Not suddenly, it had been building for a while. I’d lost interest in almost everything outside of my family. At work, everything was going fine, but I was on autopilot. I was struggling to understand what was going on. I no longer wanted to socialise, go to car shows, build cars, make photographs, paint or cycle – all things that had been a massive part of my life up until then. Was it burn out? Mid-life crisis? All I knew was that I felt sad and unable to find joy in any of my interests.

Return to working with a new outlook

A new day, a new week and it’s time to return to work. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time off and feel that I’ve make good use of every minute. Finding new routines and different ways of thinking, but most enjoyable was not having to watch the clock.

Thinking about time moving forward

Having free days, for three weeks, has allowed me to appreciate the the enjoyment of not being beholden to a schedule. Not having to think about when the next Zoom call is lifts a massive weight from my mind.