I'm afraid I'm a terribly disobedient writer in residence. I imagine that I'm supposed to be here at all times, ready to give guidance on various writing-related worries which might afflict all those who pass through the library's doors. Instead, I flit between Wales and London, slinking back in here late at night, hoping nobody noticed my absence, like a naughty teenager - more a writer in passing than a writer in residence. I seem congenitally incapable of remembering when the mealtimes are (I'm sure it's psychological rebellion against an ordered existence), routinely take a banana at the wrong moment, and probably break a dozen other rules between breakfast (when is it?) and dinnertime (can't remember...). I've always been a rule-breaker, and I don't seem to have changed at all over the years.
This evening, the worst of all. Rummaging through the library, I find a shelf of books labelled: "these books must be neither touched nor moved". Well. We all know what happens if you, for example, plant a tree in a garden and say: neither touch this tree nor eat its fruit. Instantly these became the most fascinating books in the whole library to me. All the more so when I saw that a lot of them concerned Hugh of Lincoln - a figure I'm fascinated by because his death in Medieval England (if he ever actually existed) was the cause of some of the bloodiest violence against Jews in Britain in this nation's history.
Reader, I touched those books. Reader, I moved them. I opened them. I allowed my eyes to read some of the sentences they contained. They might prove very useful for a book I have in mind. I suspect I might read them *some more*. It is I suppose possible that I have thereby brought a hideous curse upon the library and all who dwell within it. All I can say is that, as the Almighty ought to have worked out long ago, the best way to make something utterly irresistible is to put a sign on it saying "not allowed, don't come near". Possibly this has been someone's secret plan all along to make me keen on writing something about Hugh of Lincoln. I would not be at all surprised to discover that, after retiring from active duty, God is a librarian these days.