No, definitely not both at once.

I’m here to work on a project I stumbled across a few years ago—not my usual line of country, but people have been interested in it and it got my institution to cough up funds for travel and transcription this summer. (If I finish early and spend some time looking at manuscripts related to my Real Work, well, that’s just efficient use of my time and the university’s money.)

So I have actually got through almost all the likely suspects here, with the exception of one manuscript that someone else has been using all week, and one other I thought I’d have to see in microfilm. And so I asked about microfilm of the Percy Folio. (PER-cy FOL-io!) Well, there isn’t one. No facsimile, either. But I am already cleared to see select manuscripts, so, great, I just put in the request slip and went off to lunch.

I was feeling so delighted about getting to see the Percy Folio, which is a two-fer (current project AND Real Work) that I decided I’d have dessert, especially because one of the offerings was plum pudding. I’d never had it before, yet it seems like one of those iconic British desserts, I mean puddings, that you have to have sometime. It was very nice, not too sweet.

But the manuscript had not been delivered. The PERcy FOLio is on exhibition. So I had to fill out the form requesting that it be pulled just for petite moi next week, that is, at least 3 working days from now (when I had been wondering about going up to Oxford to get my paws on some more MSS related to the current project).

All this for something I’d be perfectly happy to look at in facsimile or microfilm. I mean, wouldn’t you have thought that something in an exhibition would have been microfilmed or digitized?

Magic helmet. At least I enjoyed my plum pudding.