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Courtesy

The shrill ringtone of a mobile phone breaks the comparative silence of the library.

Half an eye on the child I've taken there, who is sitting quietly reading in a corner, propped up against a beanbag, I scan the computer terminals to see where the sound's coming from. I'm ready with the dirty look already. I expect to be directing it at a surly teenager any moment now. I may even point them to the notice at the door asking that mobile phones be turned off. Is that really necessary? We're in a LIBRARY!

A surprisingly strident voice - which is clearly not that of a teenager - maintains an achingly dull conversation about where she is, when she'll be back and what she's expecting for lunch. It comes not from a teenager but...

Hang on! I feel a column coming on! Ross-shire Journal, next Friday. See you there maybe.

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My little monster
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