When I was a kid, a teenager, watching the first Apollo moon landing, I vowed to become an astronaut. There was a major drawback with that dream. I hated school and lived in Britain. Two main requisites to becoming an astronaut was to be good at Maths and science and live in the USA. So I had to take up another profession. But in so doing, I still found myself working in some odd environments.
Take this piece I’m writing now. I’m in the kitchenette of my apartment in Kouklia, writing on my laptop. Which is difficult because I’m using the glare from the screen to see the keyboard, which means the screen is pushed forward and I can’t see what I’m typing. I’m told a good typist will never look at the screen until they have finished. I’m not a good typist. I’m self taught two-finger style, so I need to see the screen sometimes. Add to that the discomfort of sitting on a bar stool and experiencing my legs going dead every few minutes and you get the picture.
Another odd place to type from, and a firm favourite of mine, is the toilet. On holiday or when travelling I need to be sure I don’t wake my wife up, so I quite often sit on the toilet and type on my laptop. A while back I did the typing onto a small keyboard attached to my Kindle Fire… now that’s a dedication to my art.
Many years ago I had an office in Belfast, in my then girl-friend’s house. It was in the attic which had not been converted for the purpose so the only way up there was by a rickety wooden ladder. I did my work on a PC which had a huge monitor attached (no flat screens in those days) and carrying that up the ladder was an experience I will never forget. In the summer the heat was almost unbearable and in the early morning and late at night I shared my office with a couple of bats… they were not amused. In the winter it was almost as bad for the heat but at least the bats were hibernating.
I think my most favourite place to work was in a garage, but this time it was converted into an office. Our car never saw the garage attached to our house in England, the whole thing was an office for my multi-media business which was pretty handy for early morning starts.
Today I’m waiting for the dawn to break so I can make a coffee and sit outside in the cool morning air. That, to me, is the best time to write. Clear head, nice and cool and a hot Colombian coffee at hand. At least I can see the screen and the keyboard. But that’s another 45 minutes away and currently I am hot, sweaty and making multiple mistakes on my keyboard. Dedication to your art or your work is what it takes to be successful. I’ve got the dedication, but I’m still waiting for the success.
So while I wait, I’ll just keep on tapping away at the keys and hope success is round the corner. At least when it comes I should be able to afford a laptop where the keyboard lights up and I can see what I’m doing.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2019
When I moved from England to Cyprus 11 years ago, I was set for a lazy time in the sun. To relax and chill for the rest of my life… it took 30 minutes for the airport to lose my two dogs. It took me hours to find them and at the same time cost a small fortune and a ton of paperwork into the late night to get my dogs out of doggie jail. “Welcome to Cyprus, please ensure your wallet and passport are open.”