We woke up to a different country today.
A divided nation.
Like so many others, well in fact precisely 48.1% of the country, I was completely shocked to hear that the UK had voted to leave the European Union.
Travelling to Wood Green Library this morning, I looked over at my fellow passengers in the tube carriage, I glanced at the faces I passed on the street.
Were they thinking of this as well? Could they taste the change in the air too? Were they wondering, as I was, that we were more different to each other than we knew?
Arriving into the library on this bright sunny morning, I felt both heartened and saddened when I came across these well-stocked shelves on the ground floor.
Wood Green Library was full of light today.
The Haringey family of authors had come out in force.
We all agreed it was a good thing that we had united today rather than being glued to computer screens, reeling in disbelief, and explored the bright, airy children’s library together.
We met with Sean Williams and Etsuko Williams, the wonderful children’s librarians in Haringey. Sean encouraged me to pop back to the Hornsey Library if I could as there was an exhibition of some brilliant children’s work in the gallery space. It included a papermache model of Darwin’s study, complete with creatures in jars, which he described in detail to us.
“You must see it, it’s really amazing. They’ve taken such care with it.”
We also spoke to the librarians at the desk who told us a little more about what makes Wood Green special.
“We’re very busy after school,” one of the librarians told us. “We have lots of kids who come here and wait for their parents to finish work.”
I asked them if they got to know the same children.
“Oh yes, we know them by name. And we know their library card numbers by heart!”
Hearing this, being here, being together, made the sadness ease just a little.