My greatest delight in inheriting my maternal grandmother’s house was that I now owned a proper pantry. The battered and beautifully engraved silver napkin rings left in a kitchen drawer also fascinated me. Which of my ancestors was born (or possibly christened?) on 1st September 1939? I was even happier still when I calculated the number of people we could accommodate in own new house. Our post-lockdown/house-warming party would be the best ever. Then there was the massive garden to enjoy…
At the back of my mind, however, I still had to sort out my work. The move to England meant that I needed to find a new job. The University of Nottingham was my obvious new employer.
I wandered around campus looking for the careers service. En route I stopped inside the medical school to admire the old fashioned seating into which the name of each undergraduate was carved.
Next to me, a blonde woman struck up a conversation about university research policy, with frequent reference to an unfamiliar acronym. When I eventually confessed my ignorance of this term, I soon knew that I would never get a job at an English university. Pleading that ‘We don’t have that in Scotland’ made no difference whatsoever. This woman was the VP of Research and – in her eyes – I was a complete fraud.