English Lessons

English Lessons

There was an English School under the Seagull Apartments in Adamas, Milos. My terrace was at the side of the building; the school was underneath. The English classes in the schoolroom at the front of the building are fun to listen to. Listening to the voices coming up from the schoolroom, I was reminded of Joyce Grenfell's monologues.

"George, open the window."

"George, pick up the pen."

"George, DON'T DO THAT!"

Is George real? What was George doing? The class sounded so well-behaved, only the teacher's voice drifted up to my terrace. Was ‘George’ a real flesh and blood Milos schoolboy? Or was ‘George’ a "Trott" like character, a figment of a textbook writer's imagination? "Trott" was the name of a character in the first book I used when I was learning French. An earnest looking teacher trotted up the steps by my terrace clutching a pile of books. Earnest older pupils came up the room behind mine to be tutored.

From below, "George DON'T DO THAT."

Later, from below, I heard the teacher say "5 minuti." Until then, I had not heard a whisper from the pupils. Then there was uproar as the pupils went off for a short break.