Bim Ad Adewunmi
I built a desk. OK, fine – I assembled one from the carefully measured and cut pieces of cheap, painted MDF that arrived in a slim but sturdy cardboard box. But in my mind, I felled a mighty teak tree, before carving, lacquering and buffing it into a desk at which I can now sit and ruminate on the larger questions of life, all from a corner of my living room. You can’t convince me otherwise.
Blame the countless hours
I have poured into viewing homeimprovement shows over the years ( bless Changing Rooms, my first romance in the field), but there’s nothing I love more than interior design. It is easily the thing I am most interested in, without having a single thing to qualify me for it. For years, my sister and I assembled shelves, bookcases, shoe racks and entertainment centres as a necessary hobby (we couldn’t afford even mildly expensive pre-assembled furniture), a hobby that slowly evolved into flatpack love.
I’m one of those people who follows the instructions to the letter. I lay out every piece, with a pencil either stuck behind my ear or gripped between my teeth, and then I check them off against the pamphlet. I grab a screwdriver, prepare my workspace, cue up the YouTube tutorial video, put on an appropriate TV show or playlist, and then, when I’m sitting comfortably, I begin. It’s like a form of meditation.
The resulting desk, white and, surprisingly, seemingly solid, feels like a reward, on two levels. I did this with my own two hands! Hard work almost always feels good. But on another, more pressing level, my back has won the lottery. No more will I transcribe from bed, hunched and batting away twinges. At least, that’s the theory. Check back in two weeks.