We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Speaking in tongues

It takes a lot for Billy Meredith to get really annoyed so this counts as a red-letter day.

He's just come back from a special event on the Mobile Library. Nancy Bickerdike arranged for a class of asylum-seekers' children to visit the Mobile, join the library and take some books out. You or I might have given the teacher the application forms beforehand so that they could fill them in during one of their English classes or something so they'd get some help with the forms. That didn't happen so Billy had to deal with thirty-odd enthusiastic young kids shouting fifteen to the dozen in whichever mother tongue(s) while the teacher who was supposed to be acting as interpreter and minder sat at the back of the bus having a nice cup of coffee and a bit of a gossip with Nancy. By the end of the session he was completely worn out and not entirely convinced that all the kids had been enrolled or got the books or information that they wanted but had no way of knowing one way or another.

"How did it go?" asks Mary.

"Really well," answers Nancy, "there were lots of kids and they were very enthusiastic. We should do it again some time."

Billy went livid white and stayed very quiet for the rest of the morning.

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