Saturday, 20 March 2010

Regardez mon visage

Yesterday I went to have my eyes tested. Just a regular eye test, but the ophthalmologist thought he'd dilate my pupils with drops so that he could look right to the back of my eyes.
Very thorough.
I've never had this done before. He said that he could tell that I have no signs of diabetes and that my blood pressure is normal. Ok, but THEN...I had to walk outside into the most glaring, painful light I could imagine. It was like the sunniest day of summer when the sun is reflecting off everything. Even with my sunglasses on I had to squint.
Considering women used to do this to themselves regularly in the interests of beauty, it seems yet another way of torturing ourselves for no particularly good reason.

I asked my friend Di if I could paste her story about the two Iraqi Kurds she teaches, here it is.

"there are two young Iraqi Kurds in the literacy classes in 'my' prison, former asylum seekers criminalised by our short-sighted processes. Unable to work to support themselves and without benefits, one of them committed 'minor' shoplifting offences (he had to eat) and the other resisted arrest while he was being physically removed from the squalid room he shared with five others in a 'squat'; he had no English at that time and had only been in the country 3 weeks. Their background stories are truly harrowing - one was shot in the face during an attack on his village when he was 13 - but each is apparently considered to be here on the same basis as any illegal economic migrant. Their families took risks and beggared themselves to send these boys here, where it was thought they would have better lives. They are not bad young men, as so many in prison are, but will both be deported automatically once they have served their sentences."

In circumstances like this, it has to be costing the British taxpayer so much more to keep these lads in prison, than to give them some support whilst waiting for their asylum hearings. I think Di's right to use the word 'criminalised', these aren't hardened criminals, they are human beings struggling to survive.

Spring in nearly upon us. I have bought, filled and put out a hummingbird feeder. Hopefully we'll get some hummingbirds. Kevin has put out the solar lights and I've cleaned the chairs on the deck.
Spring - bring it!

Et pour finir, having watched Catherine Tate's 'Our John's a gay man now' several times, I was sucked in to watching 'Lauren's French lesson' classic Catherine the Great, just classic.
Suis-je bovvered?

1 comment:

Sleepy said...

I miss 'Lauren'!

WV.. humbuf