I always try to be a little circumspect about what I hear when Lady M is working from home – largely because of business confidentiality. I grew up in a vicarage, so instantly forgetting other people’s conversations is pretty much second nature, but every now and then Lady M uses some fantastic turns of phrase that I can’t help but grin to.
One of those was recently overheard while she was joining a teleconference call. I only heard her side of the conversation, but I’m guessing she was running a couple of minutes late because her opening words were: “Hi, I know, sorry about that, I was just so ingrained looking at a contract I lost track of time a bit.”
The thought of being so engrossed in the material of a contract that you are physically entwined and mired in it’s very substance is a rather scary image – one worthy of almost Lovecraftian imagery of being swallowed up whole by arcane tomes written by giggling prophets of elder gods. It’s the sort of thing that Terry Pratchett would mention when writing about the Library at Unseen University, where unwary students would be overpowered by the magical books they were browsing. All that would be heard would be a brief scream and one of the books would be found looking smug and perhaps with a few extra pages between its covers.
Lady M has legal training, so she does pore over her documentation with a keen eye. She regularly confounds retail staff by actually reading all the terms and conditions before actually signing anything, and so this image of being utterly ingrained in a document… actually works – even if I suspect she meant a combination of other words like immersed or engrossed. Now, as long as she doesn’t start getting text randomly appearing on her forehead, I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’ll just be keeping a close eye on the books around us to be on the safe side…