"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Babe & A Saint

All right, I'll confess. Walking across the State House plaza yesterday for the first time as Representative (elect), made me a bit emotional. It was awe-some in the true, not the trivial, sense of the word. Soon as I went inside, I was all business, wandering from office to office, dropping off paperwork, being greeted warmly by everyone. Our incumbent was there to lead me around.

Before the forum began in Representatives Hall, the Governor came in to greet us all. He seemed especially glad to see all the newcomers. All the leadership were in a good mood--and still gobsmacked by the enormity of the party's victory on Tuesday last.

For two hours we listened to the candidates for Speaker of the House. During that time, I learned a lot about the way the House goes about its work. For me, it was like a pre-orientation.

I saw some people I knew. And a lot more people I don't yet know.

Afterwards, when I reached to the legislators' parking garage, I ran into a cluster of people milling about and chatting. One of them was our district's incumbent. A stranger stuck out his hand, shook mine firmly, greeted me with enthusiasm.

"How did you know my name?" I wondered.

"Oh, I was just asking the representative here, 'Who's the babe?'"

That wasn't the only thing he said that made me laugh.

I then drove off to Favourite Skirt Store 1 (not the real name), where I bought a skirt, and another fave store, where I bought a dressy blouse. At both places, I studied "professional girl" suits--jacket and skirt combos. Not exactly my style. I have plenty of appropriate clothes that do suit my style, so I don't really need to buy anything.

The weather is too bizarre. It was 55 degrees when I left the city at 7 p.m. last night. Trust me, that's not typical November weather. It has been damp and/or grey and/or rainy for days on end...I feel like I'm already back in Blighty. Today and tomorrow more rain is coming, enough of it for floood watches.

Today happens to be my Saint's Day. I've always had an affinity for St. Margaret of Scotland. She's the lesser Patron Saint of Scotland (home of many of my ancestors.) She was the niece of a Saint, and the mother of one. A queen, a parent, a doer of Good Deeds for the impoverished--quite the multi-tasker, I'd say!

Dear Saint Margaret, I need your help.

The British Library is an amazing place, with a helpful staff and state of the art facilities. (Although part of me will forever miss the Reading Room at the former British Museum site.) Over the years, in my dealings with that august and most wonderful institution, I've got accustomed to its, erm, officiousness. I understand it. I expect it. And I'll endure anything to maintain my access to their collection.

Yet again, they're making me a little bit anxious. More than a little bit. Which is why I implore Margaret of Scotland, a patron saint of learning, to smooth my path. And help me keep my cool.

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