Laurence Inman’s cunning plans

One of which involves more standing…

Some weeks ago an idea entered my head. There it festered, scurried about and finally implanted itself, becoming an intention. It is almost time for it to change status entirely, from a purely local flashing of a few nerves in my brain to a separate physical and examinable entity in the ‘real’ world. And as soon as I can get into Manjit’s tomorrow, that process will begin.

I have drawn plans. I have my tools ready: mallet, chisels, tenon saw, try square. Some of these I received yesterday as presents. All I need now are several lengths of 3cm2 pine and a pine board.

Churchill had oneI am going to make a standing desk.

Some of the people who live with me have had a little difficulty with this.

‘You’ve already got a desk. Two desks.’

‘But this will be a standing desk.’

‘Don’t the others stand ?’

‘This will be a desk that I will stand up to work on. A desk more than four feet up in the air. Ernest Hemingway swore by his.’

‘Oh, well.’

By standing up to write, you write more and for longer. There are no distractions. It helps with back problems. You lose weight. I believe every word I’ve just said.

It will fold away, so I’ll need to use hinges. The supports will be held together using mortise-and-tenon joints. I haven’t had to struggle with these concepts since 1962, when failure meant a strict talking-to by Mr Collins at Bournville School.

This is, I’m sure, a significant part of a shift in my consciousness which I’ve noticed since I crossed the line separating early- from middle-middle-age.

Things you can touch, out there in the solid world, might be better than the mere words we use about them. Architects and joiners are as great as poets and philosophers, any day.

I feel this every time I walk through the square outside All Saints’ Church in Kings Heath and remember what it used to be like there.

I know the man responsible for changing it. He is a man of genuine humility, so I can’t name him here.

But the second he dies, I’m starting a campaign to get the square named after him.