Let’s not talk about Breastfeeding

This touring thing can get you down a little.  After the startling ceremony at
Huddersfield University on Tuesday I went to The Three Acres (Hotel) while The Journalist returned to London to interview Annie Lennox on Wednesday morning.

Alone that following morning  I had my breakfast, got picked up and whisked away in The Chancellors car to  The Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield where I spent the day and evening writing an article for a future  book on performance poetry.  It’s all rock and roll eh.Twenty four hours alone in an hotel writing an article called  Lost In Action can have an effect.  

Thankfully at 9pm I watched my close friend the artist Whitney McVeigh on a BBC4 documentary in which she iss splendidly  articulate and fluid clearly the shining light of the documentary alongside luminaries,  Grayson Perry, Tracy Emin and Damion Hirst. I call Whitney when it finishes.  I call The Journalist too.    

So I wake  this morning for another hotel breakfast  – oh Joy.   All the names of the rooms here are  trees which is a bit like the children homes
I was in  Woodfields, Oaklands and  Wood End.     By 9.20am I am sat quietly in   The Cedar room as it fills with  two hundred people.  They are the hard working public sector workers in adult and children’s services, from CEO’s to residential social workers. 

 Social workers deserve a break. They are castigated left right and centre.  The social worker has to deal with problems in direct relation to family  they are the ones who identify its  shortcomings an protect the abused.  “what happens between these four walls is family business” It’ s an oft  aid phrase. But there are many times when what happens between those four walls is so bad, so horrific, so destructive, so unbearably manipulative  that someone has to make it their business to break through.   It is the social worker.

It’s time for conference to begin. It’s 9.35 am.  Representatives  from all the different boroughs in North Yorkshire are here, child protectio units, adoption units,   sat around large  tables in what is the main function room. The tables have elegant vases of water and glasses and orange juice.  The room hushes itself for conference to begin.  After an introduction by Paul Johnson I can just sense the positivity.

And then I’m on and I’m  looking out to the serious audience“I was brought up in care of the social services  for eighteen years. Legally the government was my parent.” I paused     “Margaret Thatcher was my mother.” The audience burst into laughter. I raised my eyebrows “Let’s not talk about breast feeding.”


4 thoughts on “Let’s not talk about Breastfeeding

  1. I was lucky enough to be at the Ceder Court Conference running a workshop and therefore experienced this presentation first hand – it was absolutely fantastic – as was meeting Lemn afterwards and getting a signed copy of 'Listener'. I was asked to read out 'Immigration RSVP' at the end of the conference in Lemns absence on Friday and can only apologise for not doing it half as well as he would of!! It was lovely meeting you today Lemn – I am officially your No 1 Fan!

  2. Me too Janette!
    I Lemn I am social worker who expressed a wish to come from LAC Bradford, was lucky enough to be drawn out a hat to come! Hoping what I had volunteered for would turn out to be a good day and I can confidently say it did starting with you! I was inspired! Also Margaret Thatcher was my mother too, does that make you my brother? Its not a bad thing to go back to care; if you are going to make a difference in someones life how ever small!
    Hope we will see you again in Bradford sometime!
    Rachel A

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *