Exercise 1.4 Items on my desk

Exercise 1.4 • Now find or make a group of objects (the kitchen table just after breakfast or your bedside table would be ideal) and start a new list. • Try to list as many words and phrases as you can. Don’t be afraid to be bold, using words that might at first thought not seem appropriate. For instance, you might already have called the marmalade jar: clear glass, printed label, orange colour, screw top lying on the table, sticky inside. But how about: tiger-striped, tacky like glue, bubbling jelly, open-mouthed welcome-mouthed, crystal tangerine contents, a jar ripe for fishing trips – all it needs is a bit of string, marmalade like a bubble-filled glass paperweight. It doesn’t matter how far-fetched you allow yourself to become.


The items on my desk; I’ll name the item then add improved descriptions

A small purple plant bucket containing miscellaneous writing implements.

A purple plant-pot holder grows a bunch of pens and pencils, some ripe for picking and pressing out their words.

A wooden block for four pairs of scissors – currently empty

An empty wooden block carefully fashioned for purpose made redundant by its stolen scissors.

A clear plastic cube with incomplete sides containing stack of coloured notelets

A cubic rainbow waiting in its glass cage for liberation sheet by sheet

A BT Sonus phone base and landline phone

Standing sentry in the centre of the desk, a sleek grey shape, silent now though  always ready to speak.

A large red Sellotape dispenser.

Bright red monowheel ballister, ready to fire with a roll and a rip.

My laptop, open and in use.

A barely blinking cyclops in the gathering dark, its rectangular eye gazing thoughtfully at the opposite wall.

An open filing tray with shelves all containing pieces of paper.

A red plastic stack, angular and anxious to please offers three open hands

18 books from my Illustration course.

An embryo library waiting for fruition and the dispersal of its treasures.

A small framed photo of my Mum and Dad and 2 sisters and an aunty.

A faded photo from before my time all Sunday best and smiles.

An empty Bounty wrapper

A crinkly wrapper silenced behind the laptop but still smelling of coconut.


A kitchen timer

A large green egg, spotted white, ticks quietly then explodes with sound because the meal is ready.

A rolled up bunch of receipts.

Unwanted now, a sausage of receipts saved for calculation, but their time is gone.

2 exercise books

Brand new, not yet festooned with ear of dog and doodles, two pristine books full of expectations.