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From Bert: Home Thoughts from the Bored

Hi, Everyone.

Goodness me! It's been an up and down week! As you might know, I have completely ignored the advice I gave myself in my last entry, and behaved dreadfully badly. My temper has been horendous for most of the time! The only slight excuse I have is that I have felt ill for a lot of the week, and that with every day that passes for me in this hospital, I want more and more to be at home.

It seems strange, thinking about it, that home to me should not be Shana-Shirin, where I spent so many years, learning all I needed to know for my work. That was only ever a transient place, I was never comfortable, usually in trouble, contented, maybe, but not at home.

Nor do I really think of the place where I grew up as home. That was, as I have said before, not Ireland. Do I sound Irish to you? Giggling here. Nor was it in some cute cottage in a forest somewhere. Sorry to disappoint you. I grew up in a very crowded lep colony in an abandoned warehouse in the east end of London. No, I'm not going to tell you exactly where, and which one, and anyway it would not do you any good. We do not go around advertising our presence, you know! Giggling again.

We leps usually come from big families, but mine was bigger than most, and how my parents found enough food for us all is a mystery to me still. I suppose one lepling is much like another, but as I grew older, and you could distinguish me from the rest, I became aware that I did not fit in. My fourteen rowdy brothers were mostly interested in fighting, food, female company, and forgetting to do anything they were asked to do as fast as possible. My fifteen scatterbrained sisters were interested in one thing for as long as I can remember: boys.

I was different. In a fight you could knock me over with one hand tied behind your back, and I would run away before you had the chance anyway. Female company? Far too shy! Food? You eat it, then you get on with the next thing. I would do, with alacrity, anything I was told to do, I have always been eager to please, and my mad brothers seemed to inhabit another planet to the one on which I lived. I liked books, and I wanted to learn. I was fascinated with the kind of work we leps can do, if we are chosen. I read all the special study books I could get hold of, and began to learn about the secret and complex Leprechaun Code, the rules by which we must be governed, especially if we live and work in the outside world.

I do not know what my parents made of me, I think, as I was the quiet one in a very noisy family, I mostly escaped their notice, until, on my thirteenth birthday, the head of Shana-Sherin appeared at our dinner table, in a swirl of green stars, told my stunned family I had been chosen to work with humans, and must come with her forthwith, and, before I had time to say more than a slightly tearful goodbye to my parents, I had been whisked away to that rain-swept green place, with its haphazard seeming clusters of low white buildings, and I have never had time to go back to London since.

Good heavens! I have not thought of those times in years! So where is home now? Home is the house where I have worked for over two years. Warm and friendly, comforting and familiar. I miss it so much! I had really hoped that I would be able to go home today, but I have caught an infection, and although I am much better than I was, I am told I may have to stay here at least another week. I am determined to be patient at the delay, and not to complain about it. The fact that I am running a temperature and feeling rotten is not helping me, but hearing a recent recording of myself has made me realize that I will have to try and improve my temper, especially with those who have been so good to me. I will go on listening to the wonderful Team-Fm, reading, playing with Nia, my netbook, and doing whatever I can so as not to get bored, and hoping very much that this time next week I will be on my way home.

I hope you have all had a nice week, and are having a good day. I will try and write again next week. In the meantime, thanks, as ever, for reading.

Big smiles from Bert.