Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Yesterday was International Literacy Day

and I was invited out by a rather senior member of the public service. 
"Need to discuss something with you Cat," he told me.
I groaned inwardly and asked, "More work?"
"Not exactly."
The words did not fill me with any joy. At the time of the invitation I had not checked the date as such it was just "Tuesday fortnight".
I liked the man enough to agree that lunch might be a nice thing. He has not, unlike his colleagues, been demanding of my time.
So I prowled off at the appointed time now aware that it was International Literacy Day and that other people were making internet demands of my and my "presence" at various events. 
"Hi Cat. He's in the meeting room, want to go along?" 
I went along. There was a considerable group of them. Lunch was spread out on the table.
"We thought we'd celebrate 25 years since International Literacy Year."
Oh. Fair enough I suppose. People ate lunch. I chatted with people - spending most of my time trying to explain the difference between a refugee and a migrant as more people asked.
And then there was the usual announcement of a speech. Groan. I hoped it wasn't going to last too long.
It didn't but I squirmed all the way through it - and I came home with a slim volume of letters written by an extraordinary array of people including our Prime Minister. They were thanks for the work I did getting International Literacy Year off the ground and the work I do now. They are not ordinary letters. People have told me about their favourite books, their best teachers and what being able to read means to them. To each of them - thank you. It's fascinating.
After 25 years I never expected any thanks at all. I didn't even want it because seeing people read has been more than enough reward. But  yes I will admit it was nice to be acknowledged.
And David, I know you read this even though you never comment. A lot of work went into organising that. Thank you.

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