Wednesday was a very long and tiring but certainly worthwhile day.
I set off at about 8:45am and got to my parents’ in good time to drop the dog off and then cross town for my appointment, which was 11:00 – 11:30am until 2:00 – 2:30pm. But when I reached a place called Cotteridge (I know it well, but non-Brummies may have never even heard of it) the sat-nav literally started to take me in circles:
“Turn right, and your destination will be on the left … Turn left into Midland Street, turn left again, take the next left, and your destination will be on the left … Turn left into Midland Street, turn left again, take the next left, and your destination will be on the left … Turn left into Midland Street …”
So I gave up and opened up the map I’d been sent by email on my mobile phone. The image was teeny-tiny, but I squinted at it and worked my way out of the rabbit warren. Where the sat-nav initially told me to turn right, I should have actually gone straight on and taken something like the third right.
I eventually arrived at around 11:40 … and then got lost on the complex. It was like Fort Knox with locked doors and turnstiles and barriers everywhere.
I found my way to a security office and was allowed to call the lady looking after me to come and get me, which she did. And I finally turned up for my appointment at 12 noon – a whole hour lost.
This gave me just 2½ hours to see what they have in their archives … and boy, do they have lots. The entire visit was spent jotting down things they’re happy to get out of storage for me, but I was also able to see what else was already there, available on the shelves.
There is so much material that I may change one of my chapters, probably the one on (temporary) “decline”, to “sports & recreation”. It would certainly be more upbeat and of a more general social interest.
While I was there I was kept supplied with hot chocolate and bars of chocolate and I was able to eat my packed lunch at the table – not that I had much room for it after all of the chocolate.
I headed back to my parents’, met my dad, gave him a lift home, collected the dog and then came back up north. I got in at about 6pm.
It was a long drive and a long time to be out of the house. Next time, I may just go straight there and then come straight back. If the poet takes the afternoon off work, the dog will only be on his own from around 9am until not long after noon, and I could be home again by 4:30pm. But if he can’t have the holiday, then the dog will come with me and I’ll drop him at my parents’ again.
But it was a thoroughly useful visit and I’m looking forward to going again a week next Wednesday.
Yesterday I was a waste of food, as a writing friend of mine will often say. And today I had to do some editing I need to catch up on.
Next week I have a full five days, so I should get through a lot more.