It was 9 11 2016 and I was downtown and stunned. Precise location, Cathedral Square.
My body had ceased its going somewhere motion and I was standing, looking up along the top edges of the buildings where sky meets architecture.
I craved indulgence of celestial nature. Maybe I’d find it there along the frontage prows?
My agitated reverie must have been aligned at that moment with the Memory Palace idea for Remembering, where you mentally place thoughts and ideas in the built environment to retrieve later. I might have, for example, left a really good joke on the archway above Town Hall and I could go there, look up and have a laugh.
Maybe I’d forgotten that I’d actually left something on a building in town and when I looked to the righteous point it would come to me.
I’d been feeling discombobulated since 7 that morning, when I heard via the radio about democracy’s recent triumph in America. Why hadn’t I seen that coming? A lack of elephants perhaps?
Back on the street I registered what I was seeing at the top of Sheffield Cutlers’ Hall; two colourful crests, painted in four colours.
I have lived in Sheffield since the latter part of the Crustacean Period and I’d never noticed those striking crests before. Wow, already I was ‘transported’ (in a thrall of wondering) while at the same time my legs were moving me towards the entrance of Cutlers’ Hall, to ask an overwhelming question.
An ancient phone was lodged in an alcove by the main entrance. The number to dial for the beadle was 101. I had to call the beadle and ask why those elephants were in the crests above the building.
Instead of answering my call on the phone, a man, presumably the beadle came to the door and told me that the elephants signified the ivory that was used to make the handles of the original cutlery in the 1600s. And then I looked away from the beadle and noticed the silvery elephant head door handles.
Saying no more, the Beadle closed the door. Time for a coffee indeed.