I've been kicked out of my office by my children. I've set up camp in the back bedroom with my new glorious 27 inch iMac, bought expressly for the work I'm doing at the moment (an animation, about bedsores, and if you don't know what I'm on about please get with the programme). I've also bought a pretty little Edwardian desk, from local arty furniture shop called Quirky Dovetail, and a cute cream retro lamp from John Lewis and so it's really quite cosy back here.
Okay, so I would prefer to still be in my office where it's warmer and where I have all my files and the phone and a comfy chair and a nicer view out of the window but really, who am I kidding? I'm only being paid to do this work, whereas the children have important things to do when they get home from school. Like play Eric Johnson really loudly while strumming along on electric guitar, or filming themselves dancing Gangnam style dressed as a penguin and then posting it on YouTube.
To be honest I've made my new little corner of the guest room so pleasing that I almost don't mind. The only problem is that I don't have an office chair yet. I've ordered one, in hot pink, and in the meantime I've had to pile a load of towels on top of one another on a low wicker chair and it's not at all comfortable.
Why have I allowed this to happen? Well, it's either because ...
a.) I am soft.
b.) I am stupid.
c.) I am following the path of least resistance as usual.
d.) I am highly pragmatic and sensible.
Or possibly a combination of all of the above.
The thing is that the younger two boys go straight into the office when they get home from school and commandeer both desks and both computers. I shouldn't let them, I know. I do know. It's all wrong. But it's anything for a quiet life.
Youngest sits at my desk - MY DESK - getting his sticky paws all over my papers, knocking my things onto the floor, spilling chocolate Nesquik everywhere and basically I let it happen.
Middle One says: so don't let him sit there at your desk if you don't like it!
But he can talk because he's over on the other desk, notionally Husband's desk, with his feet up and his guitar on his lap, playing along to Stevie Ray Vaughan, or some such, at top volume so that even if I did get Youngest out of there, there would still be his racket to contend with.
What's the answer? I don't know. We can't be the only ones with this problem: children hogging all the technology and the best spots in the house. Suggestions on a postcard please...
Shouldn't allow it, I suppose. They shouldn't be on the computers so much. But really, it doesn't seem ALL THAT terrible that Middle One wants to play music, while idly chatting to his friends on Facebook when he gets home. Where's the harm?
I don't want to come over all Luddite about it. I mean, how different is that from the Good Old Days when I came home from school and slumped in front of Blue Peter and then rang up my mates to gossip about the day's events?
I could put a computer in his room, I suppose, so he could do the same up there instead of in my office. But his room is on the top floor, another floor up from the office and two floors up from the kitchen and living room, and I don't really want him all alone up there where I can't keep an eye on what he's up to. So I put up with it.
Mostly I can work with the music on. When I'm writing I just blank it out, but I can't listen to audio files and work on an animation or take phone calls with blaring electric guitar in the background. And believe me, I've tried. So I've moved out.
I'm sure a child psychologist would have a field day about the dynamic in our household. The balance of power is all wrong, she would say. I've interviewed a few in my time, for articles, and they always come up with that sort of thing: children shouldn't rule the roost, blah, blah.
I remember when the health visitor came round shortly after Eldest was born and we weren't getting any sleep because we had him in our bed every night, breast fed on demand of course, and were totally beside ourselves, and she sat on our sofa in the living room and sighed. He's the one in charge here, isn't he? she said.
OF COURSE HE'S THE ONE IN BLOODY CHARGE! I thought to myself. HE'S THE BLOODY CENTRE OF OUR BLOODY UNIVERSE. YOU TWIT.
And that's it, isn't it. He still is. They all are - all three of them. That's why I'm in the back bedroom and they are in my office.
Excuse me while I just re-arrange these very uncomfortable towels...