Today I saw the interior of the British Library. A major step towards serious progress being made on thesis – hurrah! I did glance back wistfully at the blue sky and sun-dappled autumn leaves before as I entered… Then I was plunged into the gloom of Humanities 1. Well, gloom is stretching the point; there are artfully concealed strip lights in the oppressively low ceiling. It is like an enormous exam hall with its rows of desks and air of intense intellectual concentration. (And just to clarify, ‘plunging’ is also an example of artistic licence, suggesting instantaneous entry – this is far from the truth; getting from front door to desk is a convoluted process involving the locker room, where I inevitably find I have no pound coin; on the positive side, I have once or twice found a pound coin foolishly left in a locker, which frankly makes my day – half way to another coffee!!!).
There is a rule about using only pencils in the reading rooms. All my pencils are routinely blunt, therefore I have established an underhand habit of sticking biros in the top of my tights or jeans. It makes me irrationally happy to fool the security men who peer into my plastic bag looking for naughty objects (a tin of lipbalm was the last item I had confiscated; I spent an angry hour wondering how best I could have defaced books with said lipbalm and achieved very little).
I have no photographic evidence. Were I to wield my iPhone, I suspect I would be frogmarched off the premises by the security guards (who may consequently discover the offending biros). I am unwilling to test this theory.