Tag Archives: French

Failing your finals (Rousse)

I met old university classmates KH and SB for a cup of tea in the Scotsman Hotel before they left Edinburgh. SB confessed that – like me – she had not been attending the final year classes of our French … Continue reading

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Award talk with Sir Mark Walport (Rousse)

ASDA had deserted the deep-sea themed shopping centre on the outskirts of town, as had the giant aquarium retailer. The enormous concrete sculptures of marine creatures now looked rather forlorn in the neglected flower beds. Sainsbury’s moved to the site … Continue reading

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A polyglot and a primate (Rousse)

TPR threatened to accompany me to the ball naked. Happily, instead, he dressed in his dinner suit. However, he did have a big surprise for me. He had rounded up my two best friends from undergraduate days (HJ and SL) … Continue reading

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Deaf woman drives ancient red and white Peugeot 205 (Rousse)

I was briefly reunited with my old Peugeot 205. A deaf French woman drove it into town. The car now sported French plates, and half its body work was white rather than red.

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A hospital romance (Rousse)

The cancer ward proved a fertile hunting ground for a new husband. There I was courted by a tall dark French man. Meanwhile my mother patiently waited for me in the café.

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A clown, killer whales, and curvy bronzed buttocks (Rousse)

Thirty years on I rediscovered the dark-haired Italian man with whom I had been friendly in France in the 1980s. Now working as a professional clown, he lived on the French riviera in a small apartment that offered wonderful views of … Continue reading

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Wine Haiku performance at the National Library of Scotland (Rousse)

I visited TPR in his shared student accommodation. The flat was still a dump, but at least the landlord had at last started to replace the rotting flooring. In the tiny bedroom I worked on my French homework: writing an … 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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University of Nottingham web pages hacked (Rousse)

I ruined the University of Nottingham’s graduate testimonials web page when I picked out the plastic letters from the top line and dropped them on the floor. I simply couldn’t remember the wording that JC had used to honour her … Continue reading

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Lost and found on the London Underground (Rousse)

I was forever finding and losing people on the London tube. One day, for example, I spotted my O level history teacher Mrs T travelling in the opposite direction on the moving walkway. Then I ran into a girl from … Continue reading

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