Yesterday morning I told my 9 a.m. beginner class about my stolen handbag in Klein Basel ( which is where Manor is.) Their response was: 'Well it is known as Little Istanbul.' They all started rolling about laughing but to be honest it disappointed me a little bit. I mean don't get me wrong I have my own sadness with Turkey - actually not with Turkey itself - I love Turkey - one of the best holidays of my life was in Turkey! (My own grief is actually at a deeply personal level and I would never judge a country or its people on the basis of this one experience.) But I digress- for what I am trying to say is I hate racism and I hate it in my classroom - I really hate it. Fortunately the students moved on from this pretty quickly with the very late arrival of my 'Mice to meet you' student who was as drunk as a skunk. As soon as she entered the room the air became thick with alcohol and she began staggering around the room giving out biscuits and chocolates. I called an early coffee break and took her down to have an espresso. She is a poor elderly French woman and it actually saddened me to see her in such a state. I have always smelt a whiff of the sauce on her but on this morning she was clearly very very drunk :-( I don't know what I shall do if she comes like this to class again. I know it bothers the other students but I also cannot in good conscience send her out into the cold winter air in that state.