After a thorough question and answer session we entered the home. But I had one more Question that I’d been dying to ask. A question that I thought would shed light on how the institution protects itself and/or it’s children. “How do you punish the children, when they get angry”. He frowned as if to say why you asking me that. I wanted to know the regime of discipline. How a child is punished will tell me everything about the system. “we take them out into the wilderness, with the dogs, for a few days or weeks and we work through it. Come in let’s go in”.
The children's home laid on a true spread, cakes and coffee and raw liver with whale meat. We heard the children sing and play instruments and talk and laugh. For me it was a moving experience. I didn’t want to trust it. The children’s home had pictures on walls and bookshelves and comfy couches and it made the children homes of England look like caves. Earlier this week I was in the Times Newspaper for The National Children Homes campaign and I am patron of The Letterbox Club at The Booktrust whose aim is to get books delivered to all children in care.
In the evening we all performed in the hotel. I kicked off with the poem Invisible Kisses – Then Martha Wainwright played her music and song, then KT Tunstall, Robyn Hitchcock, Shlomo, Lesley Feist, Vannessa Carlton, Jarvis Cocker. It was a small bar in a small town in Greenland. These are stadium filling artists playing there hearts out to a little crowd in Uumannaq. By 1am all the instruments are packed and we were waiting by the bay for the zodiac boats – straight out of central casting for a James Bond film – to zig zag us to the ship. But while we are in the bay whip lashes of Northern lights skirted across the sky.