Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I All Quiet on the Desk in Front

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I All Quiet on the Desk in Front

Article excerpt

Byline: gary BAINBRIDGE

THE trouble with trying to do anything at all these days is that we have small boxes in our pockets, which give us access to everybody and everything in the entire world.

How can anybody be expected to concentrate on the task at hand when the most distracting invention ever created is about your person? It would be like giving Ed Sheeran a tiny guitar that could fit in his pocket, or Kim Kardashian a mirror.

Anyway, at the moment I am working on a Secret Project. When you find out what this Secret Project is, you will say, "Oh, is that all it was?" but in the meantime I wish to appear a mysterious James Bond figure, which is no mean feat when one writes about terrible things that have happened to oneself on the bus most weeks.

I have just about enough selfawareness to know that if I have to do something I have to purge myself of distractions. And so the best place for me to protect myself from the library in my pocket is to hide in an actual library.

My local library is great as it fulfils all of the criteria I need to get on with my work. It is quiet, it is still open - despite Gideon The Smirking Destroyer of Decency's axe - and, most importantly, is has no mobile phone or 3G signal, rendering my current phone as useless as my last phone.

I found a spare work table with two seats at it and busied myself setting up my laptop. This should have been a simple job, but the plug socket was on the floor and pulled the power supply out of it, and then I scurried down to my hands and knees.

I crawled under the table and tried to insert the plug into an upside-down socket. You will be surprised by how difficult that can be. It was a little like trying to fix a car engine from underneath without a jack... I imagine.

At this juncture, let us change the point of view. Imagine you are a young Chinese woman, a student keen to write an essay and hoping to draw inspiration from this library, this temple of learning. …

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