It’s All About Participation

Nell: What do you mean we can’t stay here?

Me: My Wednesday Writers workshop is scheduled on Zoom soon, Nell.

Nell: And?

Me: I can’t have you barking at the farm dogs.

Nell: They bark at us too, you know. Jim the Farm Dog is particularly loud at the moment. Ask Harriet.

Me: I need to be able to hear what’s going on.

Nell: So do I.

Me: I’m sure you and Harriet have got lots of things to be getting on with this morning.

Nell: Not particularly.

Me: Wasn’t Bumper organising a Keep Our Fields Tidy session?

Nell: A ridiculous waste of time. Nobody will attend apart from that stuffed tiger.

Me: The llamas and the sheep are gathering already.

Nell: Llamas are notoriously fickle and sheep never listen.

Me: Actually they do. They’re famous for getting involved.

Nell: Without ever really doing anything.

Me: If one sheep started tidying up they probably all would.

Nell: If one sheep walked over to a banana skin they would all walk over.

Me: There you are.

Nell: But they wouldn’t pick anything up. They’d just eat grass and watch.

Me: It’s a form of participation.

Nell: Well, I’d like to participate in your workshop. I shan’t be eating grass but I’m happy to watch.

Me: That’s not the idea.

Nell: I’m hoping there might even be a cup of Earl Grey and a biscuit in the break.

Me: We write in the break and then read out what we’ve written afterwards.

Nell: Excellent. I’m extremely good at critiquing as you know.

Me: You can’t join in. You’re not registered.

Nell: Don’t worry. I’ll give you my notes later. I’d put the kettle on if I were you. The workshop’s starting soon and we’ll need a pot of tea.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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