Tuesday, 16 November 2010


There was a time almost two years ago when my future then husband was then my husband - not my then husband - not that he is my then husband now, technically, since the divorce hasn't gone through yet, meaning he is, as I said in the first sentence (although this still IS the first sentence, correct me if I'm wrong - oh, you know what, don't bother), currently still my future then husband...although why are you so hung up on titles?  Haven't you heard the phrase 'what's in a name'?  'A husband by any other name would be as duff'?  Pure Shakespeare.  (Or was that 'would be as MacDuff'?  Or perhaps McMuffin?  Or was that Ronald McDonald?)  

Anyway, I'm talking about him then being my husband, and, I suppose, my future then husband. (Oh, what's the matter now???  Can't you understand plain English?  Ye gods!)   

Now, where was I?  Oh yes, it became apparent that, with the event of him becoming my future then husb...oh the hell with it...let's just say it was obvious that when we split up I would be in need of a day job in order to supplement my day job (?) of writing clear, concise, explanatory copy for whomsoever employed me so to do.  (So).  (Not everyone can do this, you know, it's something of an acquired skill. And I don't take my talents lightly, I promise you).

Thus it was that I came over to Nice from the UK in May 2009 for an interview with an international school for the position of Music Teacher.  (I studied piano and comedy violin, remember?)  I was interviewed by a somewhat short (on charm, as well as stature) Australian man, whom we shall in this column refer to as Malcolm Wombat.  (What do you mean, 'that's not his real name'?  How do you know???  He's Australian, isn't he???)

Mr Wombat plainly knew nothing about music (along with knowing nothing about much anything else - but hey, at least he was consistent!) and so entrusted my interview to the new Director of Music, Mr Algernon T Whaffle a'Teebag.  (Far too much to type when you're menopausal, so hereafter referred to as A T Wa'T for short).

Mr T Wa'T's most disconcerting attribute (or so I thought) was that he looked exactly like Norris Cole from Coronation Street.  Even down to the choice of clothing.  If not the male pattern baldness and fussy attitude.  However, am not certain he ever formed a partnership with anyone called Rita, or consorted with paperboys every morning at dawn.   (Or at Rita's).  You'll be the first to know if confirmed.

During the discussion, the stuttering Mr T Wa'T having looked over my CV and read somewhat nervously, I thought, that I myself had been Head of Music for some poor, bedevilled school in London many years ago, asked me what I would teach a Year 9 class.  Thinking he was thinking (how wrong I was, on any level) that I might be a little above myself were I to be engaged by them, I answered:

'Whatever you wanted me to.'

This statement was not met with delight.

And so the conversation turned to tonic and dominant (I prefer tonic, with ice and lemon, thanks), the Junior Choir, the importance of learning the violin (not unlike the sentiments of my audiences when I was on the concert platform), and the Suzuki Method as opposed to arriving at school on just any old motorcycle.  (A little joke there for anyone who knows about violin teaching.  Which doesn't include me).

After a while, a few nods and winks having passed between the two men, Mr Wombat showed me around the school, and then, standing in the foyer, offered me the job on the spot, which I accepted.  I asked him how long it would be before the paperwork would be done (the position was to start in September), and he said 'two weeks'.  We shook hands, I left and flew back to the UK.

Three weeks passed.  I heard nothing.  So I sent Mr Wombat a polite email asking when I could expect the expected paperwork that I had been led to expect.  He wrote back instantly, saying that the Australian woman I was to replace (what Australian woman???  She'd never been mentioned before) had got her visa sorted out (what visa??? etc., etc.) and so they wouldn't be needing me after all.  

Dear Reader, there IS a recession going on, you can't just be sending off emails here, there and everywhere like we all did (myself included) in the old days, now can you?

I was fairly appalled, and somewhat ruffled.  (Or was I somewhat appalled and fairly ruffled?  A lot has gone on since then, it's hard to remember).

So, back it was to Square 1.  Little did I know, however, that that was just the beginning...

(Squares 2 - 46 to follow under separate cover).


No. of Squares so far:  1

No. of Beginnings:  1 (just)

Suzuki Method vs Rhythm Method:  Just say NO to both, OK?  Neither of them is a good idea, they can both lead to highly undesirable consequences...

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