All photos are copyright sheddie Tracy-Ann Neville
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The Scriptorium

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Virginia Wolf said that for a woman to succeed as a writer she needs 'a room of one's own.'

I am currently working on my PhD. thesis and when lock-down started and the kids moved home, one from boarding school, one from university and the eldest from London, I came to understand what Ms. Wolf meant. They came because they had to, obviously, but that didn't help me. It simply wasn't possible to work in a full house.

Luckily we had an old outbuilding that had once been a potting shed and storage for garden machinery. When we first bought our house it even had the old up and over style garage door on one end to drive the sit-on mower in and out. We subsequently converted it to a summer house, keeping the two rooms separate, installing a simple 'tea, coffee, drinks fridge' kitchen and a toilet and shower room.

I decided to take it over as my own, kitting it out with old furniture that the kids no longer needed, as well as old garden furniture and things that mean something to me, such as my framed karate black belt that reminds me how wonderful it feels to work hard and achieve.

The only thing I really spent money on was the curtains and rug. The room is unheated so I have a plug-in electric heater for cold days and when it's sunny I open the French doors and let the sun and birdsong flood in.

I love my Scriptorium (the name is taken from the latin for 'writing room') and I find it so much easier to work there than in the family home. The amazing thing is, kids and husband seem to stay away, or at least they have learned to approach with caution and only if they really, REALLY need to. It is my place, a room of my own.

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It has a verandah where I can sit and read in the afternoons when the sun is there. The fridge is always full of wine.

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