Friday, 7 October 2016

Blob Thing Visits The John Rylands Library In Manchester

My person doesn't want me to just dictate my blog today.  She says that she wants to be in control and edit everything I say.  She wants to have the control.  She says that I've been very mean to her in my last two posts.  She says that I shouldn't have forced her to help me talk about the Blue Peter garden last night when she was so tired.  And she says that I shouldn't have called her a meany bum so many times in the previous post.  Especially not when showing just how many adventures she takes me on and how I get to take Winefride too.  So she wants to be able to stop me today if I start calling her names again.  But this is my blog.  MY blog.  It's not hers.  So I should be able to say whatever I want.  That's free speech.  She doesn't have to read it if she doesn't like it does she?  It's not as if my words about her ever descend to the level of a hate crime.  I'm not into hate crimes.  And she was a bit of a meany bum to not help with my blog much.  After she promised to write nearly every day.

I have promised to behave very well though.  No calling her names today.  Apart from that meany bum name I just used.  So she has agreed that I can talk and she will type and it will all be okay.  It feels like I'm on some kind of probation though and that she might change her mind and wrest control from me again.  If only I could type my own blog but even with a pointer tool it would take me a very long time.  I'd use a speech to text tool but for some reason they don't seem to understand my voice.  It's lucky that my person understands me so well.

Yesterday [when keeping me up late, thank you Blob.]  Sarcasm?  [Oh well done Blob you spotted it.]  More sarcasm?  [Oh, noooooo, not that time Blob.]  Well thank yooooou!  [We had better stop this.  We're both being sarcastic now.]

Yesterday I told you about my visit to the Blue Peter garden.  Today I want to tell you about the start of that day's adventures.  I confess I've already told you about one adventure I had that day - the time when I met Ted's sheep in the middle of Manchester.  If uncle Adrian's emergency Welsh sheepdogs had been there then they could perhaps have herded all the sheep into a beautiful sensory room.  It's possible.  Stranger things have happened.  You don't know about uncle Adrian do you?  Or his emergency Welsh sheepdogs.  I feel sorry for you for not knowing such things.  But I don't feel sorry enough to explain everything to you.  You might want to know.  But you don't need to know.

I'd gone into the centre of Manchester that morning with my person.  We were going to go walking later in the day but first she wanted to find bookshops and look for some good books filled with walks in the local area.  First we went to the tourist information centre.  They would know about walking in Greater Manchester wouldn't they?  No.  They wouldn't.  Information centres only seem to be able to tell you about expensive things to do, not free things like walking for miles.  They couldn't help us at all and didn't even have a map of the area except for a not very good city centre map.  So we went to seek out bookshops, the start of our pre-walking delays that turned out very useful because when it rained very heavily later we were still close to somewhere we could shelter.  I'll tell you about that in a couple of days.

After that we wandered some more.  My person suddenly shouted out, "Look!"  Everyone stopped and stared at her.  Then they turned and stared at the thing she was pointing at.  And then they stared at my person again wondering why she was pointing at this thing and telling everyone to look at it.

It's just a building.  And they, mostly being residents of the area, had seen it before lots of times.  My person had seen it before too but she's not perfect at knowing where everything is in Manchester so she was happy to see it again.  She began happy flapping in the street and got ever so excited.  Some people continued to stare because she was putting on such a display.  And then she said to me, "Let's go in."  Now, I know some things about buildings.  And one thing I know is that you're not allowed to just enter them uninvited.  And this was a big and imposing building.  Surely we wouldn't be allowed into this one.  There were probably security guards and perhaps it would have it's own police force too and big dungeons and they would throw trespassers into a big pit filled with slime and if we entered the building we would be thrown into the slime too and meet the man called Albert who got thrown there three years earlier and he would sing us long songs about his three years of misery.  And that would be made much worse because Albert can't sing in tune and his songwriting skills are dreadful.  Seven hundred verses of misery.  Out of tune.  And all of them almost exactly the same because there's not a lot of variety when you're alone in a slime filled pit dungeon.  So I told my person that we shouldn't attempt to enter this building because I didn't want to get covered in slime.  I got quite worried about it.  What a sight we must have been.  There was my person happy flapping and almost jumping up and down in excitement.  And there was me fretting and panicking and being quite close to a full scale meltdown and the prospect of the slime and the difficulties of getting clean even if the queen of the matriarchal society inside the building ever let me out of the pit which I didn't think was very likely.

My person eventually saw my difficulties and she calmed down and held me tight.  She told me not to worry because we were allowed to go into this building.  It was a library.  We wouldn't be breaking any rules by going in and having a look round.  We wouldn't break any rules.  She promised.  She promised.  I calmed down too and was able to smile at her.  A library.  That sounded good.  I like books.  My person said that this was the John Rylands library.  It wasn't just any library.  It had lots of old books and it had some rooms which were also museum displays.  We would be able to see the oldest surviving fragment of the New Testament in the world.  And we would be able to look at lots of old books about demons and witchcraft.  Or at least see them.  We wouldn't be allowed to handle them or read them because they were far too precious.  That all sounded good.

So we went into the library.  And my person broke her promise.  Straight away.  It was okay though.  It was quite funny.  I'm making her show the next picture and I hope she doesn't get into trouble or have to go to prison or be thrown into the stocks that are actually a pillory at Hexagon.

It's a toilet.  It was down a staircase at the back and it's a very old loo.  There was a sign outside saying that you weren't allowed to take pictures inside.  My person ignored the sign.  She says that she wouldn't have taken that picture at all if the sign hadn't been there.  That's my person.  She's a rebel.  She takes illegal photos of toilets.  A rebel and a meany bum all wrapped up in one woman.  [Don't call me a meany bum again in this post Blob.]

My person used the toilet [People don't need to know that Blob.] and we walked back up the stairs.  First we looked at that piece of Bible which was very old indeed.  I couldn't read it because it was in Greek and lots of the words and characters were missing.  If I was God and I was personally inspiring every single word people wrote down to form a Bible, if I was breathing them out, then I would have been a lot more careful about it and made sure that people would know what the right words were even two-thousand years later.  I wouldn't have done such a shabby job in preserving my words.  I'd have spoken clearly too and not put anything in that people could easily use in order to own slaves or persecute people of colour, women or gay people.  Or trans people like my person.  If I was God I'd have done a much better job at dictating my book and I'd have planned it a  lot more carefully.  But maybe God didn't breathe the Bible at all.  Maybe people wrote it based on their own ideas and cultures and beliefs and their own seeking after the divine and mystical experience.  And maybe what they wrote contains errors and biases and all kinds of things among the human words.  I don't want to be definite about that here in case someone gets very grumpy at me.

Then we looked at the books about demons and witches in Medieval Europe.  They were quite interesting.  And then we walked into a gigantic hall full of books.  There was stained glass and a very high ceiling and a statue of this man.  This is John Rylands.  John.  An ordinary name.  There's also a statue somewhere of his wife, who started the library in his memory.  Her name was Enriqueta Augustina.  A less ordinary name.  It's lucky that my sister wasn't created the day I went to the library or she might have been called Enriqueta instead of Winefride.  

We walked behind Mr. Rylands and I had my picture taken showing the length of the hall.  It was massive.  I found it quite hard to balance on this post.  I'd have held on with my teeth but it's uncertain whether I have any behind my beautiful smile.

This is another picture of the hall.  I'm glad there wasn't anyone here to steal my "Autistic" badge like there was in the Literary and Philosophical library.  I think I would have got very out of breath if I had to chase a disguised dragon round a hall this big.  I'm still not clear as to why the dragon had disguised itself as a giraffe or why it tried to steal my badge.  Some things perhaps are better left as mysteries.

And another picture of the hall.  My person took lots of pictures of the library.  She wants to use them for a blog post of her own if she every manages to get round to writing lots of blog posts for herself.  She says that sometimes she's too busy helping me with my blog to be able to write her own.  I think she's just making excuses and could write far more than she does.  Especially if she just got on with things.  She could write in the morning.  And the evening.  And the afternoon.  It's not as if she has to work in an office or a shop for sixteen hours a day.  I keep telling her to write more and she keeps promising she will.  But sometimes it seems to me like her promise is like the one she made about rule breaking in the library.  I need to bully her more and get her writing.  Her blog.  Lots of stories.  Poems.  And I know she wants to start writing the story of her life.  I think it was remembering the time a man called Iorwerth confiscated a small packet of non-toxic crayons so she couldn't kill herself that finalised her decision that she will write her story just like everyone keeps saying she should.  She is still not sure how she would have managed suicide with a small packet of non-toxic crayons and she has had maybe twenty-four years to think about it.

We left the hall and walked around the rest of the library.  Apart from the bits we couldn't go in.  There were some "No Entry" signs in places and there was a special section of the library just for members.  We didn't go that way because I still didn't want to get thrown into the slime pit.  My person tried to tell me that there wasn't a slime pit and I wondered for a moment why we weren't going into the forbidden places if there was no slime to be thrown into by the queen's police.

I asked for a picture to be taken on these stairs.  I was quite safe but it doesn't look that way.

I thought that this corridor looked like the cloisters of Durham cathedral.  It was very pretty and there was no giraffe in sight.  I wonder if I could have had a chase game with the dragon giraffe up and down this corridor.  Or we could have played a ball game.  Or maybe, and this would have been brilliant, we could have used the corridor for a game of ten pin bowling.  My person could have been the person standing up all the pins and bringing our balls back to us.  I'm sure she wouldn't have minded.

It had been an amazing visit to the library and we left the building happy.  I wasn't covered with any slime at all and hopefully there won't be any slime as a consequence of sharing that toilet photo.  I was glad that we had visited John Rylands in his library.  I might go back one day but there are so many other things I want to do in Manchester first.  I haven't even been to the Hidden Gem yet.  Or to the Working Class Library in Salford.  The John Rylands library doesn't seem working class even though working class people are allowed in.  I want to go to see the Working Class Library.  I think that would be just as much fun as the John Rylands Library even though the buildings and contents are so different.  And maybe a working class giraffe dragon would be more friendly than the one that stole my badge.

[2417 words]

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