I sat next to Simon Le Bon – and opposite Nick Rhodes and John Taylor – in a club with other former classmates following Duran Duran’s performance at our University reunion. Simon feigned attention in my tale about a friend of a friend who used to boast that the pop star student used sit on MH’s girlfriend’s radiator and complain about his spots. However, I could tell that he was much more interested in the other Birminghmam University graduate to his left: Women’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey. Even so, I was impressed that Simon was polite enough to listen to this tired campus legend, and that he asked me to explain my job title.
I wondered how we had managed to secure a world-famous pop band to play at our reunion. Could this be something to do with Jimmy Page and his relationship with another friend from our hall of residence? Whatever the reason, it had been a fun evening, but now it was time for me to head back to my hotel. Simon paid the bill for the table and led the ‘in’ crowd off to the next club. I was happy to find my very elderly friend and make arrangements for us to return to our accommodation.
It took a while to get my friend out of the club because she wanted to donate to charity some very expensive clothes that she had worn just once that evening. I was particularly taken by a light cardigan in pale yellow silk. Couldn’t she just give it to me? Apparently this was not the done thing: if it was valuable it should be given away to raise money for the poor and needy.
On our way back to the hotel we competed in a 10k race. I walked most of the course around the campus of the University of Birmingham. I did part of it with my old tutor EXX, who pushed his grandchild along the route in a buggy.