Tariq has acquired a brand new set of dashing, shiny dentures so Tariq is toothless no longer. He proudly grins all over the site flashing his novel knashers at random passers by. Tariq and the missus are archetypal village types; she in a head scarf and clashing floral baggy pantaloons and he in a tatty vest with a fag permanently jammed in his gob – honest people with simple needs. It is to their credit that they are raising their two daughters as thoroughly modern types.
Tariq’s eldest daughter came by the house waving a piece of paper which she handed to me with much excitement. I thought it was yet another bill but it was her last school report. I called Liam out to the patio and we examined it together. She had received tip top marks in virtually every subject (except English, unfortunately) and beamed with pride. Quite right too. We were chuffed that she thought to show us, and the next day bought her a box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray. My eternal hope is that her parents resist the pressure to marry her off at 16 to some country cousin.
We mentioned her glowing report to Clement, but he simply doesn’t approve of educating Turkish girls “lest they get above their station.” Honestly!