A touch of trespass

In Others
August 8, 2009

Today started with a failure.

I have never been into Hendon Town Hall, even though it is not 20 feet from Hendon Library (about which I’ve previously written) which I’ve had a library card for since I was two years old. And, going by the admittedly sparse information here, I imagined it would be open today between 9am and 4pm.

But as you will have guessed, I rocked up this afternoon at 3.30pm and it was shut. Which annoyed me. I peered in through the windows. I walked around the side of the building. Peered in some more, hoping to find an alternate entrance. And then… ducked under a security barrier to peer in at the back door.

Honestly, I don’t really know why I did that, except to have something to write here other than “I walked to Hendon Town Hall and it was shut”. Perhaps this means that blogs encourage crime.

I was probably the least rules-breaking teenager there ever was, so I never had a phase of climbing fences or creeping through badly secured gates to sneak around places – this is about as dangerous as my life has ever got. Hendon Town Hall and associated municipal buildings (library, fire station, dental clinic) are very much stuck in the 1970s. I felt, wandering around, as if I was in a 1970s BBC children’s drama, and I was about to stare in through a window, witness a dastardly crime being committed which I’d then tell my parents about but no one would believe me, so I’d have to investigate it *myself* along with my ethnically diverse friends, we’d get into lots of peril before eventually saving the day. And then there’d be a second series but it wouldn’t be as good because now everyone would know we were the plucky kid detectives which immediately undercuts the tension.

Anyway, unfortunately none of that happened, and although I tried all the doors Hendon Town Hall remains a locked mystery to me. So I decided to take a wander around Middlesex University instead. I don’t actually know if it’s *supposed* to have an open-campus policy or not, but the doors weren’t locked and I had a nice walk through their British Museum-esque glazed courtyard with a semi-circular waterfall block, and out into their pleasant tree-lined gardens. I hope it is an open campus – I’d go back there another day; but if not as least I’ve proved the truth that you can walk pretty much anywhere as long as you look confident and  like you know where you’re going.

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