‘A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write.’
This morning I woke up to a flat filled with light, padded out of my room to put the kettle and the radio on, looked out of the windows that spread across the entirety of the back of my flat at an expanse of rustling autumn trees, and beyond them Tooting Common, took a deep breath of satisfaction and exhaled.
I have moved, and I am living in my own space for the first time in ten years.
Roughly half of the people who’ve heard I was hoping to, and then managing to live alone, thought I was mad.
‘Will you not be lonely?’
‘Who will you talk to?’
‘It would drive me crazy.’
But the other half are like me…
‘I’m so jealous. You’re living the dream.’
Waking up this morning, with only my books on the shelves, only my pots in the sink, only my pictures on the walls, I felt like I was living the dream. The lightness and the trees only add to the dreaminess. This is a place to be at rest, and to be inspired.
It’s taken me a decade of working and the good fortune to know the lovely people who are letting me live in their flat to be able to live alone, free from distractions and interruptions, free to fill the space with friends and laughter, or to leave it empty and quiet. I am well aware of the amazing liberty I have by being able to live here.
If Virginia Woolf is correct (and there’s a lot of truth in her essay A Room of One’s Own, even today) then my recent bloglessness should come to an end. For the first time in my life I feel I have enough money, and I have a room (plus a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom) of my own. No more excuses.