I sat in my study and looked about me. My books, ever present, covered the walls. In front of me my desk was crowded with notes, half-recorded thoughts and musings. An empty cup lay abandoned on the side.
It occurred to me in that moment that if I was to be successful as the world’s first and only consulting literary critical detective then I would need some new equipment. I duly set about ordering this. I am pleased to announce that my first parcel arrived this morning.
It was wrapped carefully in brown paper and had been stamped with the name of the store it had come from on the reverse. Inside was a beautifully hand-crafted leather bag, designed and made by Mr W Blaikie of Bespoke Leather in Somerset. I had seen this bag in his shop window and guessed that it would perfectly suit my purpose. Seeing it again this morning, in my room, I did not doubt that it would serve me well through the coming years. I cannot recommend the work of this master craftsman highly enough.
My new neighbours have already begun to comment on this new possession. Mr Davenport was suitably impressed, although I suspect that he was thinking more of the image of professionalism and income that it conveyed than any practical benefit it might have for my work. Mr Thistleton, a more Romantic soul, remarked that it improved my silhouette and that it threatened to transform me into a character from a fin-de-siècle short story. I took this as a compliment.