I bought my first laptop last year as a luxurious add-on to the desktop computer that sits in the office room where I spend most of my writing days here at home in Lewes, UK. I suppose I should confess that I have been envious of all those lucky people that I’ve seen over the years who have these marvellous portable machines and who manage to work with them wherever they go. I went to Scotland for a long weekend last autumn and took my lovely new computer with me in a rucksack on my back – it was my first time away from home with my very own portable machine and, because it lives inside there too, the new novel, my fifth, that I am working on these days. Forgive my naive enthusiasm, but I still can’t believe how wonderful it felt to be working on my book on a train speeding up from London to Glasgow. I was amazed how much work I got done. And, yes, while my novel is in my laptop, my laptop is now a character in my novel.
My laptop has travelled with me around town too when I wanted a change of scene or even when fancied a cup of coffee in the coffeeshop across the road, so I am still excited by my new found mobility when I need to be working. Well, I have recently had a bout of the current ‘flu and I have been confined indoors in the warm and out of the winter rain. It’s an ill-wind, as they say , that blows nobody any good, so, looking on the bright side of my imprisonment, I have discovered the joys of moving around the house with my laptop. How cosy and tranquil to be away from my desk, to stay in my pyjamas all day, to keep the flu symptoms down with paracetamol, but feeling too ill to concentrate much on writing, I am free to play frivolously on the web, to listen to music and watch movies or just to surf the internet. It actually feels like a holiday.