Of all the four Pubescent Morphollactic Ninjitsu Chelonions, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they prefer to style themselves, Leonardo is quite my favourite.

-Stephen Fry, My Leonardo

My travelling companion on the commute to and from work has been Stephen Fry’s Paperweight. A collection of his early journalistic writings, reviewings and columnings (if it isn’t a word, it ought to be — the style of a column being so different to that of any other writing), it makes for perfect train reading as each entry is only a few pages long so that one may dip in and out at leisure. I actually purchased it several years ago but only read about half.

Yesterday what my supervisor Chris described as an “initiative test” involved heading over to the central Land Registry office to acquire some title information and plans. It was a nice stroll across Chancery Lane and through Lincoln’s Inn, reminding how pleasant this part of London can be. The building itself looked new but in keeping with its older surroundings. Having spent the better part of a year studying its inner workings, it was strange to finally find myself inside the central hub of this vast nexus of information. This is relative, of course, its true centre probably being a computer residing in a shed somewhere in the north of Shropshire, the precise location of which is tattooed on the inner thigh of the Chief Land Registrar himself so that upon his death it might be discovered by his successor.

The oddness was exacerbated by the fact inside everything looked clean and airy, everyone was very polite if a little bland, and everything seemed remarkably secure and efficient. In other words, nothing like a government department at all.