A list: Five things on the bedside table.

I’m preoccupied with the Venerable Bede right now. You shall hear more shortly. You can get the Bede on your Kindle.

Free. Saxon chronicling, straight to your device, and not a groat spent.It’s a brave new literary world these days.

But Felix was charged with hoovering our bedroom this evening (yes, I still call it hoovering), and I went to help, and got preoccupied all over again with what was on my bedroom table.

What we keep close to us as we sleep is a singular tell.

This isn’t everything on my bedside table, but it’s not far off:

spiderWhen Felix was a very small person his sense of humour was fully formed. Around this time of year, I found this spider grinning maniacally in a local shop at half price. Reader, I bought him, and brought him home, and my son fell in love with him. One night, just as bedtime story session was about to end he said to me, grinning like a Bedlamite, “Look at ‘is face.”

We both looked. It was enough.

Number 2.

DSC_0503So we were walking up on the iron age fort next to our house and Phil bent to pick this up. “Look,” he told me, “This is a knapped flint”

A stone-age knife, in other words. Something which cut sunday lunch around three thousand years ago in some round house. It is true that the sides are worked: maybe it was just some boy scout trying to replicate what men once did to stay alive; or maybe it is a three thousand year old utensil. Flints do not betray their age. They are unfathomable. Inscrutable.

Number 3: a monkey sitting on a hard drive.

But of course.


kindleNumber 4. Controversial, I know. But I do not know what I would do without my e-reader. At 2pm I was looking at a picture  in a book about an inscribed stone at Jarrow Abbey, where Bede lived and wrote. By 3pm, I had his Historia ecclesiastica gents Anglorum ready to read on my Kindle. It makes research outrageously easy, and also completely free.

It broadens my horizons.

dickensbookIn my defence, the two volumes which hold Dickens’ ghost stories sit on my bedside table. They are a wish, a project, a to-do, a moment in the future. Whilst I am currently reading and editing A Christmas Carol for uploading onto audio platforms, I’d love to read these; every last one of them, and put them onto Audible.

Five bedside table objects. What sits near you as you sleep?


32 thoughts on “A list: Five things on the bedside table.

  1. How fun.
    Hmmmm. let me see, there are two piles, and I DO mean piles of books to read, a prayer journal (and pen), three photos (grands, Tom), a nail file, my grandmother’s silver icon of the Virgin Mary from the island of Rhodes, and, horror, a dust bunny. 🙂

    1. No, no, that’s admirably orderly! I have yet to negotiate a lamp for my side of the bed – the hard drive came first. And I love the fact that you have a picture of you both on the bedside table. Hope all is well with you. It was lovely of you to leave a list today! Thanks!

  2. My night stand top surface is not very big, although it has two drawers and a large area between the drawers to stack books or whatever you want to stack. And there are a lot of books stacked up in there topped by a jar of coconut oil. The top of the night stand has lots of dust, a lamp, and several moisturizers scattered around. I love that monkey, by the way. It reminds me of Guatemalan jackets and bags. Is it from Central America? Since I was forced to look at my night stand with a critical eye, I have to admit it says I am messy.

    1. I don’t know how anyone is expected to keep a decent bedside table tidy, Gale. Mine is very small yet it is my Repose Command Centre. Every self respecting bedside table has a degree of mess. It’s tradition.

  3. I have a (relatively) clear bedside table. Reading lamp and current book. Beneath it is a drawer and cupboard, and alongside (in a deep alcove in the headboard) all kinds of horrors lurk …
    Including a pile of those tiny diaries, in which over decades I managed to record an astonishing amount of day-to-day stuff. That was before the computer and blogging took over.

  4. It is so true that the things that are next to us as we sleep are precious! On the shelves next to me I have my Bibles, my other reading books of the moment, my diaries, my Kindle and a model Land Rover that beeps it’s horn, flashes its headlights and starts its engine should one be so inclined to push its buttons in the middle of the night. 😀 And of course, I have a coaster for that all important mug of tea.

  5. Let me think Kate…A lamp and annoying alarm clock; land line phone; iPod; Kleenex; What is more interesting is the two draws of stuff that at times I question why I keep these items. Some of the things my kids gave me over the years. Items that I cannot bring myself to part with. Oh, shoe polish. I inherited this idea from my Dad.

      1. As I thought about it, I also have the various cards my kids gave me and various other “stuff” that I just can’t throw away. I may even have a pocket dictionary…and many pocket knives! Then there is “The Box” under the bed.

  6. Fascinating collection Kate – love the piece of flint 🙂 Ok, here goes in no particular order… A Kindle like yourself, a Samsung Tablet for reading Modern Railways and other technical magazines, a copy of the King James Bible, my mobile phone, my watch, a bottle of water, a Rosary, a copy of ‘Remains of a Revolution’ which I’m currently re-reading and a photo of my good lady in her wedding dress.

  7. Kate, I realize that this will sound like I’m underprivileged, but I’ve never had a bedside table in my entire life. When I was a kid, and later, when I was living in a college dorm, my desk was next to my bed. The apartment I’ve called home for three decades is not much bigger than a postage stamp. I have no place to put a bedside table. Every night I drag out a foot stool, park it near my bed, which is ridiculously huge (I have my priorities), and place on it my iPhone that doubles as my alarm clock and a box of tissues. This system is efficient, but not something that will win awards for style.

  8. I loved seeing your bedside table, Kate, and especially love the colorful little monkey! Oh my bedside table! It is overflowing, quite overflowing, with unread reading material. There are two quarters of The Paris Review, neither hardly cracked open, and several books. It wouldn’t surprise me to find my own Dickens’ Christmas Stories sitting in that pile, because that was on my “wish list” to read last year…and I didn’t. The chief reason for the overflow is my switch this year to absolutely loving my Kindle. I have a beautiful old and well-loved complete set of Dickens on my bookshelf…but I also have the entire compendium on my e-reader! So now I have piles and a huge e-library. You’ve got me thinking I really do need to clean up a bit!

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