This is the tale of the day that JK Rowling and I finally secured our friendship. It didn’t start well…
BR scolded me. He couldn’t understand why I thought it acceptable to walk the length of the railway line completely naked. I assured him that I would buy something suitable to wear from one of the charity shops near campus before the students came back for the new academic year. In the meantime I saved him the embarrassment of the sight of my bare backside by ensuring that I was the one who followed behind as we negotiated the track.
Suddenly the route sloped downwards. It was impossible to walk this section, so we slid down it on our bottoms. The track then transformed into a chute and deposited us on the floor of the rare books reading room in the Birmingham University Main Library. The Chinese library assistant busy reshelving seemed not to notice us, even though it was not yet 09:00 (when readers are normally admitted to the building). I hurried BR out into the stairwell with the intention of leaving the library before we were caught. However, when we heard music coming from a nearby room, instead we followed the lady who invited us in.
Stretched out in front of us were rows and rows of seating occupied mainly by library staff, and a stage where classical musicians performed. I took my place next to a smartly dressed blonde woman. She shoved her expensive designer handbag under her chair to make room for me. When I smiled a thank you in acknowledgement I realised that my new neighbour was JK Rowling. She grinned back in recognition. “Didn’t I lend you my blue casserole dish last time we met?” she asked. “Yes, that’s right”, I replied, delighted that she remembered.
We left the concert together and outside in the sunshine I introduced Jo to my parents, sisters and JC. By now it really was time that I headed off to work, but Jo persuaded me to accompany her to the tea party in the art gallery. “I’ll never forgive you if you don’t stay at least long enough to try one of my home-made meringues” she said.
JK Rowling features on Dreamaticus quite frequently. You’ll also find her here: