Patrick Leigh-Pemnerton: Sun is shining

Let’s transport the whole library ethos to castle sands.

Sun is shining, weather is sweet, make you want to move your dancing feet. It really does, doesn’t it? Mr. Marley has never really been hailed for the accuracy with which he so neatly sums up some human emotions, but this one, it seems to me, he has nailed with the deftness of a carpenter who knows that this is the last shelf before lunch. But, whilst Mr. Marley has come to grips with this response, he has not suggested a suitable way to achieve the aforementioned aim of “moving your dancing feet”. Here we are, and I think this applies to almost everyone, in the library on such a beautiful day. You might have seen me: I am the one with the bare, but, unfortunately, so far inanimate feet. I think weather like this should make us all re-evaluate our priorities.

I met someone yesterday who now only works from 7pm onwards. She is a sensible thinker, and has grasped the essential problem of what to do with weather like this. But this isn’t a permanent solution: the sunshine stays for longer and longer every day, and soon this person won’t be able to work except between 11 and 1. Which is fine, but I have more work than that. So, I want to suggest a novel alternative. It is very simple, it just requires someone to have a boom box. I don’t have one, I want one, I really do, as I would like to lie on the beach reading about the intricacies of Akbar the Great’s government and the personal manner in which he commissioned art – all the while listening to something suitably cultural. Like Le Nozze di Figaro, or Call Me Maybe (note to self, don’t make inclusive culture references too obvious). And I think you should join me. I think we, with a certain amount of the right sort of thinking, could make it so that there is a decent community of studious people soaking up the rays and not looking so tossing miserable. It is bad enough that I already have skin like a well-done lobster, but it is worse that I managed to get to this state in cigarette breaks alone. If I am going to burn, I want to have at least the satisfaction of having earnt that pain by being outside, all day, complete with the satisfaction that that day wasn’t wasted.

With this ingenious, and I am certain, completely novel plan, the library would slowly but surely empty. It would reduce the work load of all the lovely people that work here, meaning that they too could come outside and join the work party on the beach, and then, as each day passes, we could just transport the whole library ethos to Castle Sands. Have the short loan section on that rock over there sort of thing. And then everyone would love the library. And that would be nice.

I think I am a little addled by the sun, but this plan seems better than putting my faith in the resurrection of Mr. Marley. No matter how many times he promises to come “to the rescue, here I am”. He doesn’t, he isn’t.