For this week we looked at a gentleman named Georges Perec who was a French Novelist. We read an extract from his book “An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris”. We were then set with a task of going out into the world and attempt to exhaust a place in Lincoln. Here was my extract:
I position myself in a place of- what I think as- a place of discretion; a hot pink sofa that is trying desperately to be modern, but with the various spill stains and pulled fabric bobbles it fails miserably. I hold my notebook in my lap, pen in hand with my bag at my ankles. The carpet it resides on grey and equally in need of a good scrub with soap and water. The round, white table in front of me graciously allows me to place my bottle of Cherry Coke on it.
I then begin to observe:
– The ceiling is impressively tall. So tall I assume you’d need a very large ladder to touch it. For a tall being, this is quite refreshing- given most of the time you feel you’re in the land of the hobbits. I digress.
-The ambience is somewhat soothing, a general tsunami of chatter; students discussing who drank the most that night or how they are having they’re having a quarter life crisis at the age of 19- I relate. Most of the voices echo from below, but this isn’t a surprise considering the scale of the building and the openness of the structure. The first level is where I have made myself comfortable, blending with the crowd of other students doing their work or socialising.
-I realise for the past couple of moments there has been an underlying hum of music leaking from someone’s white Apple earphones, the song is one I do not recognise, but the tune is fast paced and nothing of my taste, at least I assume.
-I turn my attention to two tutors [one male, one female] conferring over a laptop, they’re deep in conversation and unware of how closely I’m watching; they seem to be good friends by how comfortable they are being close to each other- but nothing inappropriate. The female pushes her mousy hair back behind her ear before adjusting the powerpoint, the male sipping a bottle of Buxton water briefly. They look back at each other and discuss something beyond what I can comprehend.
-To my right, on a bold teal sofa- another male sits alone with his paperwork. He rustles the pages he has and begins writing with a sense of purpose with a black Bic pen. He seems bored or perhaps just focused, or even both. He doesn’t stop to check his phone like everyone else around us.
-Music erupts from downstairs somewhere, potentially at the automatic doors that open every other second. It dawns on me how busy the building is even in it quiet hours. A cool breeze circulates the building when the door opens, but nothing that is strong. It’s difficult to decide on what to call the space I’m in. It’s not a room, but it’s also less than a building… I have decided it’s more of a level than anything.
-I zone into a conversation near me. Three girls hunch over giggling, probably not wanting to be overheard- but this makes me more curious. From what I can gather from the hush tones is that one of the girls slept with a gentleman after a night out. Scandalous- but anti-climactic.
-My thoughts are interrupted by the student to my right standing up, the change in his trouser pocket jingling abruptly, followed by the lift near the sofa making a “ding” noise.
-A girl, maybe no more than 20, walks out of the lift with a large black suitcase trailing behind her. She lugs it somewhat haphazardly to the place the male had sat, whilst the male had taken the 2 flights of stairs to descend from the level.
-A burst of laughter unsettles the low hum of sparse conversation as a door creaks open below me, I do not quite catch the appearance of any of the culprits, but I distinguish 3 different voices in light conversation.
-It is impossible to be light footed on the first level, unless you’re someone like myself who pays attention to this type of thing, you’d be surprise how much people stomp about without meaning to.
-The cafeteria on the ground level provides a lot of ruckus; clattering dishes are suddenly apparent and then the noise of steel hitting the floor with a clatter. Someone must have dropped their cutlery.
And thus concludes my observation.