I always have a bit of a chuckle when I see a writer on TV, seated at a polished antique desk with nothing on it but a leather-bound volume of poetry, a framed photo of the family, and a fancy pen-set. I simply don’t believe it. A few weeks ago, stuck between paragraphs, I decided to list the objects on my desk. There were 128. Hover over the 'Large Photo' link on the left ...
Not a lot has changed since then, although the apple core is in the compost-bin. Should I have tidied up before taking the picture? No. I wanted the unvarnished truth - which is that once a thing finds its way here it rarely leaves.

So, a brief tour. On the left is a red Valentine’s card. Should’ve thrown it out last February, but then… how many of those does a guy get after he’s passed sixty? The Rota-dex is a nasty cheap thing I bought ten years ago. I have always promised myself that when I get ahead financially I will treat myself to a decent one. The white cardboard box is full of those little pens you get in the bookies. Don’t ask.

The crossword is from the Independent. I enjoy the daily battle with the cryptic
puzzle. If I haven’t time, I cut it out for future use. I took eighty to Nebraska last April. They helped me fill those long lonely nights on the Great Plains.

I bought the cricket-ball some years back, simply so that I could have the pleasure of wrapping my fingers around it, or feeling it strike my palm. It is one of mankind’s most beautiful artefacts. In moments of indecision I wander around the house, tossing it up and catching it.

I have no idea why, but tea and coffee taste infinitely better from bone china. Nothing else will do, frankly. And that’s what the mug is made from. Most afternoons I have a brew of Yorkshire Tea, occasionally with a slice of bread and jam (both home-made, by yours truly).

The torch is there in case the electricity fails. You never know ..... In the printer tray, and not visible from here, are my two Palaeolithic spear-heads, souvenirs of the Nebraska Sandhills. Both feature in my Nebraska blog. I will mount and frame them some time.

Also out of sight are things like the Ordnance Survey map of North Yorkshire which I use daily as I write the Mike Pannett books, my camera, and a photograph of my late mother.

Hard to believe, but this desk is tidier than usual. Most days there is a scattering of receipts, correspondence, bank statements, etc., but I have recently done my year-end accounts and filed everything. I shall have another tidy-up if a film crew from The South Bank Show come calling.