Tag Archives: absence

The fifth Beatle (Rousse)

The black and white press photograph of a beaming TPR sandwiched between Paul McCartney and George Harrison was all the evidence that I needed to account for his absence from home in the whole month of January. Now I knew … Continue reading

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An unhappy return to Nantes (Rousse)

Nantes was unrecognisable to me after my 33-year absence. I was also very nervous about returning to France barely able to speak French. It didn’t help that I had brought no French cash with me, and that the University sports … Continue reading

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Fashion disaster spots hidden features of ‘new’ British Library (Rousse)

It was time for me to return to work after a long absence due to sick leave. I found some smart clothes to wear: black tights under a long tweed shirt, a back polo neck top, and a tweed jacket. … Continue reading

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Escape and P (Rousse)

When I took down all the posters from my office walls  it was obvious that I would need to call Facilities and ask for the whole room to be repainted. There was even student graffiti to remove. Fortunately I would … Continue reading

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An athletic library user (Rousse)

I burst through the main door almost taking out RR (who had just returned from a trip by train) and offered to carry his newspaper upstairs for him. While he took the lift, I charged up the the wide sweeping … Continue reading

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A tall blonde Australian lover (Rousse)

I joined my tall blonde lover at the other side of the world in Australia. She hoped that I would move there permanently to live out the rest of my years in her homeland. I wasn’t sure that I could … Continue reading

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Bathroom upgrade (Rousse)

TPR had been very busy in my absence. He’d plumbed in the two new bathroom suites, both of which were chunky white. He’d also started decorating both bathrooms in pale green colours. Our own bathroom – no longer en suite … Continue reading

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Medieval French literature, relationship advice, a Jacobean trunk, and a blue Maserati (Rousse)

We were working through archives of exam questions, extracting any that could be recycled for the next academic year. My collection was so old that it included questions on medieval French literature from my own undergraduate days. My colleagues started … Continue reading

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Luxury yellow bathroom is no substitute for missing wife (Rousse)

Now that it was the fashion to return to university to repeat your first degree, I found myself back at the University of Birmingham reading French. However, by the end of first year I was struggling to study and hold … Continue reading

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Weekends do not start on Thursday afternoons: official (Rousse)

RK hesitated when I said that I would help the French student put his poster up on the wall at the back of the classroom. He asked if I would do this later. For the moment he wanted no distractions … Continue reading

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