I’m staying in Manchester with J until…sometime at the end of January/start of February (term doesn’t begin until 6th so I don’t have to be back in St Andrews until then). There are pros and cons to this. The most obvious pro is that I get to spend time with J, the most obvious con is I have no ‘room of ones own’ in which to write. But, having begun forcing myself to write in public (cafés, the St Andrews Library) it doesn’t phase me too much to turn the table in the ‘living area’ into my desk and writing space. It’s not ideal but it’s doable. I even managed to write a whole scene there, yesterday.
Another perceived pro was the thought that the John Ryland’s Library (the main Manchester Uni library) has copies of Ambit magazine, which I’m desperate to read because I want to submit Teddy there. There’s no other way to get hold of it for free and each copy costs the ridonculous £9. So, a few days ago, I set off with the knowledge that students from other universities could gain a vacation pass and access the wondrous resources within. But there was a potential problem, I’d lost my student card in St Andrews (it’s been found and we will be reunited when I return but the point remains, I don’t have it with me) and wasn’t sure if I’d be allowed in without it. The best I had was my photocopy card.
My fears, however, were unfounded. The photocopy card was accepted without question and I gained my visitors pass (which I can use until next Sunday, as that’s when term begins in Manchester Uni). The only problem I had then was locating Ambit. Having wondered around what turned out to be the humanities periodicals section with no joy, I decided I’d have to ask for help.
When I did so, I was told that there must have been more information with the number. I should have written down which coloured zone Ambit was in, so, having found the computer for searching the catalogue wasn’t working I consulted my phone and, of course, found no colour, only the number. However, it did say ‘library store’. I asked again and was told I’d have to request the journal and then collect it in a few days. Could I do this with my visitor’s pass? No, I had to be a student.
All was lost. I called J to bemoan my fate and he suggested I ask R, his flatmate, who was a student. On the walk home, however, it occurred to me that they might not have the most recent copy of Ambit, which was what I needed, otherwise, why would it be in the store? I consulted the library catalogue when I got back to J’s flat and found that they only had copies from the 70s. No good for me.
Well, at least I got out of the flat. And I popped into the Whitworth Art Gallery on the way home and saw some inspiring works of art, including this: