So there I was, yesterday morning, teaching at the University, and speaking with students about how the characters we all wrote about need to move between the 'ordinary world' and the 'special world', terms taken from Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey. We talked about space, not least because I'm obsessed at the moment with The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, and I used as an example the way we'd just moved back into our house after major building work and - for the sake of our sanity - needed the little pockets of order we created amongst the mess. I was thinking particularly about my sitting room - the one room in the house which wasn't full of boxes or 'things to do', and so has become a sanctuary. Imagine how much it hurt then to find a phonecall waiting for me at lunchtime to say that the ceiling of the sitting room had just fallen in and water was pouring down my newly painted walls. Arrgh. Great structure though - the house is very old and this ceiling almost seems original - you can see the horsehair, straw and, is it, can it really be, yes it is, dung, holding it all together! It's just a pity about the dung stains on my absolutely brand new carpet ... and the fact the builders are now going to be around for a little bit longer.
And my writing prompt today is going to be ... a leak.