They say a man’s desk says a lot about his character. Actually, I’ve no idea if they say that, but if they don’t, they bloody well should. My desk is, appropriately, a bit of a mess. Full of useless detritus, with a few important things struggling for space amid the chaos. Make of that what you will.
Unlike most One-A-Dayers, my home desk is my work desk. I’m not even sure ‘desk’ is the right word. It’s a tiny little PC unit thing. In front of me is a widescreen LG monitor. 19 inches, I believe. Tucked behind it to the left (as I look at it) is one of two flimsy Dell speakers, the other positioned just to the right of my mouse mat. I’ve knocked that off so many times that it’s come apart from the base and rests loosely in place. In my defence, it’s weighted so poorly that falling over seems to be its main reason for being. I suppose I should be thankful that it still functions.
To the right of the monitor is a cardboard tube containing around twenty coloured pencils. Next to that is a clear perspex case containing seven first-class stamps, a SanDisk micro-SD adapter, a 4Gb Sony PlayStation MicroVault USB stick with retractable connector, an unopened pack of four crayons from the cover of one of my son’s comics, a pencil sharpener and a black biro.
In front of the monitor is a whole heap of stuff (and believe me, heap is the right word). There’s a Starbucks Coffee mug, empty bar a used Green Tea and Echinacea tea bag. This rests on top of a Dell XPS mouse-mat, alongside a Dell XPS mouse. (I’ve just knocked that speaker off the right edge of the desk again.) To the left of the mouse mat is a tube of Belkin LCD display cleaning solution. The cloth is not in the immediate vicinity. Then there’s a jumble of HB pencils, a black permanent marker, a spare pair of spectacles with one missing handle, an iPod Shuffle (second gen), some white Apple earphones, a white cable adapter of some description, a protective iPhone cover (I no longer own an iPhone), a small teaspoon, a pink Post-It with the words ‘VIDEOGAME MAINSTREAM COVERAGE WEBSITE’ on it in black marker…
…an empty wrapper for 10 Pokémon Trading Card Game cards (with Leafeon on the front), a Sony Ericsson W810i phone (which, depressingly, is my current mobile), a Zelda: Spirit Tracks photograph holder still in its cellophane wrapper, together with a Game And Watch-styled tin (both free gifts with NGamer magazine). Previously underneath those (and now extracted from the rubble) is a card insert promoting a subscription offer to Wired UK magazine, a Halifax bank receipt for a cheque and some cash paid in on December 3rd, and seven further Post-Its whose contents are too lengthy and dull to post here. Finally, there’s a business card for a PR account manager, a paper clip, a rubber band apparently determined to twist itself into a ball and a tiny screw from God-knows-what.
Next to that pile, and in a precarious position on the left side of the desk is a small plastic case containing dozens of other business cards I’ve collected on press trips and PR events. Behind that is a white gashapon keyring which plays the shinkansen jingle from Osaka station.
Underneath this desktop is a slide-out keyboard shelf, on which I’m currently resting my wrists as I tap away. On my immediate left is a Tesco Greener Living lightbulb with a bayonet cap, reminding me I’ve still not changed the dining room light yet.
By my feet is my Dell desktop PC, resting on its side, as the gap between keyboard shelf and unit base isn’t quite tall enough. Atop the PC is a host of DVD+R discs, a package containing a game I sold yesterday on a gaming forum, and a half-empty ream of Xerox printer paper. The printer rests on a shelf further back which I can’t see unless I duck under the keyboard shelf.
To my right is a radiator, which I have to rest my elbow on if I use my mouse. Above it is a window leading into our back garden. I always keep the curtains shut, as our walls are low and the neighbours can see in. To my left is the entire living room, which contains far too much stuff to mention here.
This is where I spend most of my weekdays.