Day One in July

All the new people I met today were women.
I am from the North, I live in the South, I acknowledge the West and now I’m in the East. The East of Glasgow is mainly unfamiliar to me, which I like, the unfamiliarity makes everything more potruded.I am more alert. I came on my bike, it is chained up to a fence.

The Glasgow Women’s Library is in the kind of building I remember libraries occupying. Silent, sandstone, that feeling. All the wood. All the books. An absence of signage and laminate, just peace and books.

A sister building which housed the library of my childhood in Springburn has since been occupied by The Glasgow North Regeneration Agency. So in Springburn, books are now borrowed from a Learning Space in the Leisure Centre, people with towels go one way, people with tomes go another.

Today, is like going back in time but also going forward because it’s the first day of a full year as Artist in Residence.

In the 70s, in Sprinburn library I found Judy Blume. “Are You There God, its Me Margaret.”
I knew then at the age of maybe twelve, that I was reading another world, new voices. An American. Jewish? She sits for me with the birth of Channel Four, a show called “Square Pegs” and a band called The Waitresses.

Judy Blume was banned sometimes…. when all she writes are coming of age stories about girls at pivotal times in their lives. Bullying, Menstruation,Masturbation. AND the title, the weird, elongated title, the eavesdropping title that’s the direct voice of a girl, has put the girl’s voice right on the cover. A girl who tells her deity it’s her. Hi God!
I have not thought of Judy Blume in a while but the library made me remember her.

In my absence, the fence I locked my bike to had been wrapped in white mesh to hide an overgrown derelict space from the gaze of Commonwealth visitors. Whoever had wrapped the fence, like Christo, had also made the most surgical of incisions around my bike lock to complete the hiding.

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