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When Lyndsey picks up a book to read, he has to work rather harder than most of us. If we had to go through this mental challenge, we mightn't be such keen readers.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Hard read ... Lyndsey has his copy of Sailing to Purgatory, but to read it will be more demanding for him than for most of us.
Lyndsey, probably Kingston Council's top worker on the School Lane estate - nominated council worker of the year in 2014 - has to go through a considerable process to read.

He visited yesterday with his copy of Sailing to Purgatory to show me that my story is getting onto the shelves in UK bookshops.

Lyndsey, who hails from the beautiful Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, has a good command of English. However, Wikipedia reminds us that French is also an important language.

Very laborious

I didn't like to ask, because his English is so accomplished, but it must be that he was brought up speaking French.

When Lyndsey reads, he told me, he first has to translate the words into French. I suppose the mind does that quickly, but it does sound very laborious, though that may be mostly a reflection on my poor classroom French.

'I'll begin this weekend,' he said. 'Can't wait.'

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