A few days ago I finished reading “Two Caravans” by Marina Lewycka. For some reason I keep calling it “two tractors” even though when I say the words I see a caravan. All the quotes about this book use words like funny, hilarious, humour yet that’s not what remains with me. This is a sad book that lets us see into the world of those who work for below the minimum wage often with anything that they are have been told they will earn being taken for “expenses”. Now I am swinging things in the opposite direction from the hilarious and that again is mis;eading because this is a very enjoyable read and yet it causes me to spare a thought for things that if I am honest I would rather not hear about. I would prefer to be safely tucked up in my comfortable home, rather like one of the minor characters, worrying abut what sort of vegetarian I should be or what colour my kitchen should be, than what two or three items I can purchase with the very little money I have. If I buy an own brand “basic” loaf, and margarine will I still have enough to buy a tin of pilchards which I have been advised is one of the cheapest forms of protein. Is it ethical to steal carrots from a field to ensue that I take in some fresh food? We have all seen clips of battery chickens on TV but somehow seeing those places through the eyes of a migrant worker and learning what he has to do to earn his meagre wage and “see” his ghastly living conditions in my imagination had a much greater effect on me.
Then sticking to my resolution to read books I already have, I picked up “Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo” by Ntozake Shange. This is the story of three sisters from Charleston, South Carolina. So far I can see that Ntozake Shange shares at least some experiences with one of the girls.