Leyhill prison arboretum

Image: Taken by me at Leyhill HMP arboretum, December 2007.

ME: Wow, look at all those birds! Aren’t there a lot!
HER: Why all those birds up in the sky?
ME: They’re getting ready to go somewhere warmer for the rest of the winter. They’re all going to set off together, like we do when we go on holiday.
HER: Why they all going on holiday together?
ME: Lots of birds like to fly off together in the winter, and at the end of the winter they come home again. It’s called migrating when lots of birds go on holiday together.
HER: It’s my great as well when I go on holiday, it’s not just your great.
ME: Yes it is great for both of us when we go on holiday. And there’s a word called “migrating” for when birds and animals all go off together to be somewhere warmer in the wintertime.
HER: I like grating. Like when we grate the cheese.
ME: Indeed.


HER: Look, mummy, a police man!
ME: I don’t think it is. I think it’s just someone in a yellow coat.
HER: No mummy it’s a police man.
ME: Oh. Are you even sure that it’s a man? How can you tell?
HER: Police man.
ME: It might be a woman.
HER: Police man.
ME: Shall we say “police officer” instead? That way we don’t have to know whether the person is a man or a woman.
HER: No I don’t like that word. I say police man.
ME: Well, how do you feel when people say you’re a boy even though you’re a girl? Do you get annoyed when people say you’re a boy?
HER: Yes I do get annoyed.
ME: And do you think a police woman might get annoyed if you say she’s a police man even though she’s a woman?
HER: Police man.
ME: And if you say “police officer” it doesn’t matter and nobody will get annoyed. So it’s nice to say “police officer” because then you don’t have to worry about whether the person is a police man or a police woman.
HER: No I don’t like that word. I say police man.
ME: Oh.
(Several minutes go past, the conversation turns to other things, we get home.)
HER: Mummy, we saw a police officer today, didn’t we?