Yes, today I’m talking lamps. I have a confession to make: I am a total daylight junkie. If I don’t have natural light in my workspace, I can’t work. I’m happiest beside, in front of, or preferably IN a large window.
The desk in my bedroom at my parents’ house in Sydney was amazing. My mother had bay windows built onto all the bedrooms, and into mine and the one that is my father’s study, we had desks built in that run the full length of the window. So that desk had glass on four sides – the front and sides, plus the glass roof of the bay window, looking out into the bush and shielded from the sun by the trees. It was lovely – like sitting outside but without the bugs. And with reverse-cycle air-conditioning. Awesome… *sigh*
Anyway, so ever since then, I’ve craved workspaces that have lots of light and space around them. If I’m facing a blank wall or the light’s bad, I can’t work.
While I was trying to fix up my workspace in our previous house and thinking about why it was that I needed so much space and light, I was contemplating lighting and my friend the artist Simone O’Callaghan told me in no uncertain terms to get an Anglepoise lamp with a daylight bulb. And oh my goodness, she was right.
The Anglepoise design is perfect. Just perfect. It sheds light without getting in the way or showing the glare of a naked bulb, the arm is easily moved around to wherever you need it. And the daylight bulb is possibly the best invention ever. Natural colours, gentle but bright light on what you’re working on so your eyes don’t get as tired as with normal bulbs. Often I forget that it’s even on. It’s just so right.
And now my Anglepoise has become part of my work routine. Switching on the lamp is my signal to myself that I’m starting work for the day – once the light is on, I’m working and focused (strangely enough, even when I’m not at my desk…). In her book The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp talks about rituals for getting started – hers is getting up at unreasonable o’clock and getting in a cab to go to the gym. Mine is switching on my lovely silver Anglepoise. And coffee. Of course coffee.
What’s your getting-started ritual?