Chop, chop


Somewhere behind Hollywood films, comes me in the list of influences over Robin’s speech. ‘Chop, chop’, I say, to hurry the children along. Robin now says it to others and to himself, to give a sense of urgency to whatever he is doing.


Eliza has started attending an after-school club called Streetdancing. Inner City LA has come to our leafy Manchester suburb. Eliza explains that the music is fast; the children are arrayed in four lines to learn and execute moves; at the end of some dances the children strike a pose of their choice. Eliza’s poses are angular and involve pointing or crossing arms in front of her face.


Gabe is an excellent pupil who copes easily with all that is required of him in school lessons. He does, however, seem to have early onset writer’s block. Monday homework usually involves some open writing task. It drives Gabe into a frenzy of anxiety and frustration. The time he spends finally completing the writing is but a small proportion of the time he spends fretting about what he has been asked to do.

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