Frivolous Monsters

The Reading Room 08 – The Final End

I do not cope well with change. Of that I am sure. For my kamikaze writing career I’d come to rely upon my small table outside the toilet in Costa Coffee and the reading room in the library, as they were the only places in town where you could sit quietly and do some work1, and so I was therefore distraught when I was cast out of the reading room, beyond the reach of spiritually bereft librarians for ever, and it had nothing to do with hanging about with strange men in there like you might imagine. Library

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The Reading Room 07

I rounded off a visit to Costa Coffee by reading some of The Stepford Wives, a novel about the ultimate men’s club, before heading off to what I jokingly referred to as my own: late night library Wednesday in the reading room.

Bishop Brennan

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The Reading Room 06

In the library I found they had a copy of a Hunter S. Thompson book – The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 – which I hadn’t read, but then discovered that some twisted local, presumably the previous borrower, hadn’t so much taken it out to enjoy the adventures in Gonzo journalism which lay within because they’d been using it to press wild flowers instead. I knew this as, with my Sherlock Holmes-like skill, I detected evidence remaining within the book’s pages of some sort of large daisy; mostly because it was still wedged in there.

Partridge Smell My Cheese

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The Reading Room 05

Visiting late-night library Wednesday is like an episode of the old children’s cartoon Mr. Benn in that with each visit you spin the wheel of local-characters and that you never know which of them is going to go off.

bear 2

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The Reading Room 04

I was doing late-night Wednesday at the library and it was quiet and surprisingly devoid of characters. This was until the Rubber Band Man arrived to liven things up.  08

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The Reading Room 03

I popped along to my gentlemen’s club, late-night library Wednesday, and the most famous of the regular members was gently sleeping across from me.

So far, so normal.

Carry On Up the Jungle.jpg

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The Reading Room 02

As a local writer of no celebrity, and even less fortune, I dine at the finest joints and hang out at the trendiest of scenes. By these I refer to the lowliest possible table in Costa Coffee, right by the toilet door, where no-one ever wants to sit, and of the reading room of the town’s central library, but it was by frequenting these locations that it put me in the sphere of influence of certain local characters.

Library

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The Reading Room 01

The Central Library, right by the bus station, is a large Edwardian building built after the Victorian paper manufacturer Thomas Wrigley bequeathed his sizable art collection to the people of Bury thus requiring somewhere to house it.1 It became an ever-modernising cultural centre containing, alongside the art, a museum, an expansive library, reading rooms, computer rooms, and the town’s historical archives. A treasure which undoubtedly still goes unappreciated by many.

Library

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Coffee Shop Writer

This is the last of my six Christmas blog posts and it was dark times in early January when I underestimated my shopping in Asda and, for the first time, actually had to pay for a carrier bag; the law having been changed in England, three months earlier, requiring large shops to charge for plastic bags.1 That’s a whole six pence I wasn’t going to see again. The propaganda stated that it was a bag for life and meant that now I’d have to carry it around with me everywhere I went, for the rest of my days, like a pirate curse, because I sure as hell didn’t want to end up having to pay for a second one.

Sprout Boy

From the BBC’s 2015 animated festive advert Sprout Boy.

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126 Local Sheep

In the run up to Christmas there was a spate of crimes worthy of the local gangsters of old – The Quality Street Gang1 – and perhaps the most audacious act was when someone just down the road from me, under the cover of darkness, stole a whole field full of livestock which the local newspaper totted up as 126 sheep and two rams.

sheep

A Close Shave (1995) / Aardman Animations

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