The British Library and a train journey

Late posting of the blog this week, I’m afraid as I was down in London doing workshops for groups of year 12 girls at a school. On the way back, I popped into the The British Library which is, if you are ever in London and some time to spare, very much worth a visit. It’s one of these places that has a good feeling about it when you walk in the doors. It’s busy but relaxed and there are lots of people who are there to study. Of course, it’s a controversial modern building and one which many people moaned about in the 1990s, but it’s also one of these buildings that is now accepted as an iconic building of our times.  Of course, it also has an excellent website which is worth exploring e.g. the online gallery – so check it out.

My wife and I travelled to London and back by train and the journey from Dunbar is very picturesque for the first part as you travel down the coast towards Newcastle and then, it’s fairly green after that, and you pass many a field of burgeoning barley or wheat or potatoes whose shaws now stand a foot high. On the train itself, it’s comfortable and you can do some work or read the paper or a book in peace for most of the time. AND THEN … on to the train comes a person who sits opposite and proceeds to get on the phone, in a voice which would probably carry to where s/he was phoning anyway without the use of the phone, and tell the people on the train, the people in the towns which the train passes and, probably, most of the UK, that the school which s/he represents wants a brochure printed. Meanwhile, other people are working and yes, some of them are on the phone BUT they speak normally or even quietly. Yes, there’s a quiet coach where people can’t use mobiles but not everyone can get on that coach and the tail is wagging the dog as there really should be not a quiet coach, but a LOUD coach, where all the self-centred, the world revolves around me,  ignorant people should be put, so that they can try and outshout each other.


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