The first time I ever I faced a Judge I was on my own, high in the Thomas Moore building.
I was a 3 month trainee solicitor with a legal document ripe for execution. We were in the attic of a sprawling Alice in Wonderland wedding cake of a building called the Royal Courts of Justice, in the Strand.
I very callow and young, and there was a scary gnome sitting behind a huge desk with a big shock of white hair like Rumpeltstkilskin.
“Mr Mathews “ boomed the gnome “Are you a carpenter or a joiner?”
That floored me. I was still trying to get to grips with being a clerk learning about legal thingies. I cast about me wildly. Outside there was a scaffold, and maybe he thought I had broken in by mistake. I could be free of this. All I had to do was tug my forelock and step out the window.
“The pen Sir.” And then it was so blindingly obvious. Behind my ear there was a pen.
Then the gnome kindly approved my motion. I remained almost speechless. He told me that in Chancery the court writes up the orders, and I was out of there.
The gnome was fierce to get my attention, yet kind to teach me. That was a kind Judge. Others have been less kind, and less wise.