Deciding who’ll pay deposit gets lost in translation

Deciding who’ll pay deposit gets lost in translation

Deciding who’ll pay deposit gets lost in translation

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

IT’S the chance of a lifetime. Grab it.” The words came from Clive, a retired financial adviser and long-time Oxford chum who has turned stinginess into an art form making Scotsmen (and Yorkshiremen) look like philanthropists on speed.

We met outside the Isis Oxford Tutorial College in Pembroke Street. Had it been a pub I’d have run for cover because he invariably touches me for at least one double malt.

The college was offering free English lessons with trainee teachers. Surely I should take advantage; such skill would remove the need to appoint a translator of my ‘basic Tyke-speak’.

I studied the notice and smiled. The lessons were free, but a deposit was required, somehow contradicting the offer.

“Will you lend me that if I do?” I said.

Clive, not one to take risks involving money even in jest, was last seen heading for the back door of Marks and Spencer.

IF you’ve never seen the film Brief Encounter you either have no television or you lack any trace of romance.

Who can forget Celia Johnson sounding like the Queen and wearing the strangest hat ever recorded on film, or the stiff-and-starchy Trevor Howard as her doomed-to-failure would-be lover who meet by chance in a dingy station buffet? It’s a true classic.

The 1945 film, directed by David Lean, was adapted from a play called Still Life, written in 1936 by the Master himself, Noel Coward. It is one of nine one-act plays performed in sets of three under the title of Tonight at 8.30. They can be seen at Oxford Playhouse next week from Wednesday to Saturday.

This is the first time they have been staged for almost 80 years. I wouldn’t expect them to have lost any of their magic, especially Still Life. But there again I am an old romantic.

MY particular ‘brief encounter’ also came to a sad end on Tuesday lunchtime. For the first time in ages I perched on the steps of the Martyrs’ Memorial, happily tucking into a couple of chicken wraps. I was joined by a woman many moons my junior who was about to enjoy a small tub of yoghurt. She often sat there during her lunch break when the weather was fine.

We agreed that there was no place like Oxford; it was a delight. We had both worked in less inviting cities in the North. Not twin souls, but a couple in agreement.

Then the stranger appeared. I’ve omitted the swear words but the gist of his ranting was that he didn’t care for anybody; that he was better than the rest of us and we could go to Hell for all he cared. My new friend, wishing to avoid unpleasantness, rose quickly and departed. There was no time to say goodbye.

  • Our top stories:

Adding extra lanes to A34 through Oxfordshire could cost £800m

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 24th November 2014

PLANS to widen the A34 in both directions through Oxfordshire would cost at least £800 million, a new report has revealed.

Update: Road reopened after two people cut free following collision on the A44 near Begbroke

Oxford Mail:

12:44pm Monday 24th November 2014

THE A44 is closed following an incident between Spring Hill Road and Sandy Lane/ Rutten Lane between Yarnton and Begbroke.

Grieving family watches as motorist appears in court accused of killing Liberty Baker

Oxford Mail:

3:55pm Monday 24th November 2014

A MOTORIST accused of killing 14-year-old Liberty Baker as she walked to school appeared in court today.

Fog warning for Oxfordshire tonight and tomorrow morning

Oxford Mail:

3:25pm Monday 24th November 2014

A SEVERE fog warning has been put in place for Oxfordshire overnight and into tomorrow morning.

Explore today's interactive front page

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Monday 24th November 2014

Want to explore our interactive front page? Here it is...

A44 at Wootton re-opens after accident

Oxford Mail:

9:46am Monday 24th November 2014

THE A44 near Wootton, West Oxfordshire has reopened in both directions after an accident.

Ah well...

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree