Friday 27th June 2014

I’m Happy today, as I go to the archives to start researching the number of petitions to the Lords.

Mari shows me how it works, and I get cracking. It’s distracting from the actual creating, but I don’t mind, head down and recording the places from where each petition comes. There are lots of names of villages I have never heard of. I like the term ‘Lie on the table’ as the comment at the end of the petition record.

I look up its meaning, as it was upsetting me to think that potentially these petitions were getting shelved. I was wrong – it means they are getting debated:

The British meaning has the sense of the table as being an active work bench, with the topic being the centre of attention, considered and discussed by all until it can be resolved, at which point it is taken off the ‘table’. This comes from the use of the term to describe physically laying legislation on the table in the British Parliament; once an item on the order paper has been laid on the table, it becomes the current subject for debate.

Come back on Tuesday 18 October 2016, when Mary meets activist, researcher and writer Janey Stephenson…