thoughts in the library.

so we had a delicious breakfast meeting about 20 blocks, or perhaps a little more, north of where we were (at home – nothing mysterious or clandestine to report, darlings, fear not) and decided to get up Terribly early – and walk.

which was delicious.

for a few reasons – one is that we saw the Dawn in all its rosy-peach-y-ness.

and another reason was we realized we’d got up So awfully early that we could lie around and sink into the dark embrace of caffeine and read large coffee table books.

luckily we have a Lot Of Those.

(isn’t the light tranquil resting on what we call the Gertrude-Lawrence-movie-star-blanket with satin wrap as-visual-accessory? we think so.)

and so we walked to the meeting and felt all Energized by the early morning-ness of it all (and surprised a few construction men by trilling out a cheery “Good Morning!” in a very Nancy Mitford sort-of-a-way) and got to the place of business (which was Very Fashionable and celebrity-adjacent – shhhh – no telling of whom we speak) – and – thank the god(s) – had a Chandelier in the entrance hall 0r Vestibule as we believe one might call it.

sadly – because we were being all Fancy and Footloose free (not in the Kevin Bacon sense, you understand) we forgot to bring our bag let alone bag-with-camera (sigh) so no photograph of the chandelier (but it was a Most Excellent one).

and then we walked (more than 20 blocks – we counted) and had Another Meeting (with someone who we might well work with but actually consider a friend) and they had gone to the wrong location so we had a Most Amusing phone conversation where we said:

oh god – what shoes are you wearing? can you make it down here?

which is the sort of thing that we learned to say when we moved to NYC (where everyone walks – but only in the right footwear).

they laughed (brilliantly) and said.

it’s Friday – we’re in Flats.

we did an understanding sigh of relief and then secretly wondered if there’s a dress-code-for-fridays in manhattan that Someone forgot to give us………maybe there is. we’ll be checking peoples’ feet today.

(pause: looking around the library – everyone is in flats – but that’s because we’re in the library and not many Fashion people come to the library or if they do, they Dress Down).

oh yes.

we’re in the Library!

it’s the Nicest part of our new life – between meetings and giving special-advice-if-asked – we come to the library.

this one was built in the early nineteen-hundreds.

so we feel Very much at home.

although an awful lot of us are on Laptops and there’s not a card catalog(ue) to be found (which is a pity, because we loved those).

because we told you who we are in RL (although She is Quite Different out there to us talking to you like this – if that isn’t too confusing and if it is – try being us ;-)

we thought we could tell you about the library that we used to Study in as a young student (of varying morals but a rather voracious appetite for Learning and Life).

firstly – here’s the outside of the building (yes, that’s sort of why we picked this university as we were rather shallow, on occasion, and very much an Aesthete).

isn’t it glorious? we thought so.

and here’s a shot of the inside of the Library where we spent a Great Deal of time (and some of it studying but quite a lot of it flirting, actually).

look at those delicious vaulted ceilings (although that carpet is new – not sure about that – and the white stacks – hmmm – we remember something Very dark and brooding – must have had a Decorator in – and one With A Vision no doubt).

and here’s a Charming close-up and very atmospheric shot from someone with a blog called Focused Moments – we’re going to ask for their permission so hopefully this is still here for you to look at if you return….

in fact all this Thinking about libraries, reminded us of a screenplay that we Started a while ago but life got exhaustingly glam with all the jetset travel and we had to abandon (and the characters stopped telling us where they wanted to go at that time – perhaps they’ll start again now with this attention we’re about to Shine on them, hmmm?

would you like a little excerpt?

it’s from a memory we expanded on from our First week in university.

we’ll set the scene for you – we heard there was a protest at the Library and we decided to go and investigate (our early journalist-impulses already Very much in evidence) and we tripped over a few characters whom we’ve combined into two or more throughout the story – not Totally true to RL – you know, inspired by.

here we go.

do you have a nice warm cup of tea to hand?

we’ll wait……

oh yes, a lovely Spode.

where were we…

She walks on through the archway, a statue of Queen Victoria, in the distance. A group of STUDENTS run past. One stops.

STUDENT 1 Are you going to the protest at the library?

EMERALD What’s wrong with the library?

STUDENT 2 She’s a witty one. (beat) It’s to argue against the cuts.

EMERALD Are they serving drinks?

They don’t hear her – already EXITED, in a rush. Emerald brings out a bottle of wine from her bag.

EMERALD (CONT’D) It’s alright. I’m fully prepared.

She follows them.


Christopher, VISCOUNT CHATHAM, and JIM KEITHLEY – both 18 – both in black tie, are lying on the polished parquet floor of an Edwardian-era library. Christopher is the son of a minor English aristocrat with perfectly chiselled cheekbones. Jim is a working class boy made good. Very handsome, very thin.

JIM What did you say you were studying?

Christopher rolls over to lean on his hands and consider Jim.

CHRISTOPHER I didn’t. (beat) In fact, I think it’s the height of bad taste to ask.

JIM It’s what everyone asks in the first week.

CHRISTOPHER Exactly. (beat) Popular taste is bad taste.

JIM Popular taste is the future. All advertising depends on it.

CHRISTOPHER I say, are you a Communist?

JIM I was considering it. (beat) How about you?

CHRISTOPHER I have a (sadly) very minor title.

JIM What kind of title?

CHRISTOPHER I’m a Viscount. But of a bit of England that fell off the map circa early seventeen-hundreds.

JIM You’re joking.

CHRISTOPHER It’s actually beyond a joke. So Communism is a rather unlikely path, dear boy.

JIM I’m not your dear boy.

CHRISTOPHER Are you going to play hard to get?

Jim blushes, furiously. Christopher stares as Emerald ENTERS. She unbuttons her coat to reveal a thrift store 1920s shimmery dress.

EMERALD Hello there.

She steps over Christopher’ prone body and moves to the shelves of books, swaying slightly. Both men stare at her.

CHRISTOPHER Are you into girls or boys?

Emerald swings round, a book of love poetry in her hand which she stuffs down the back of her knickers.

EMERALD I thought the point of University is that one didn’t have to choose anymore.

CHRISTOPHER What a glorious answer. (beat) Are you clever?

EMERALD Of course. (beat) Aren’t you?


Christopher jerks his finger at Jim who sits up and looks between them both as if they are exotic animals at the zoo.

EMERALD But you’re not?

CHRISTOPHER Not terribly. No.

EMERALD How did you get in? (beat) Aren’t we all meant to be clever?

JIM He was just telling me that his family have been coming here for five hundred years.

Emerald scratches the bridge of her nose, a nervous tic.

EMERALD Are you a Communist?

JIM I’m considering it.


CHRISTOPHER Why on earth would you do that?

EMERALD To achieve equality.

JIM Right on.


EMERALD Don’t tell him to shut up.

CHRISTOPHER You don’t even know him.

EMERALD It’s the first week at University, I don’t know anyone.

JIM You know us, now.

EMERALD Thank god. (beat) We must be friends for ever.

She sways again. Jim and Christopher get up and stand either side of her. They walk down the long corridor to the library exit.

CHRISTOPHER Won’t you get caught with that book in your underwear?

EMERALD I am protesting the cuts. (beat) And if they cut the poetry section first they won’t miss it.


Emerald does sound rather familiar…..


are you having a Splendid Friday, darlings?

spent time in any libraries recently?

we Do recommend it.

you have Such interesting thoughts – and encounters – and delicious reveries – in a Library.

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