I wrote this some time ago for a post I put on a CW website associated blog. Anyway, here it is;
I have a student who works in Real Estate. That’s rare enough, nowadays, but she’s from Romania. She does classes because she wants to go back to working in the garment industry. I’m helping her perfect her portfolio/presentation/interview pack. We refer to this weighty document as all three. Her plan is to write directly to the top man at places like H & M, D &G and so on and ask for an interview. It’s possible she has already written some letters. I think she’s a little mad, but I don’t say so. She pays me, after all. She takes three hour chunks of my life; 3 times a month. An intense person, her voice is both loud and penetrating: not a pleasant experience at a range of 3 feet. There’s a room at the Doctor’s surgery that I use free of charge: there’s a sign on the wall. Speak quietly please. Remember that this is a Doctor’s Surgery. The sign was made by me. It’s the least I can do: I’m sure the noise drives the Doctor mad. Last week, the class (she calls them meetings!) began with her apology for not preparing anything. This of course meant that she was going to talk and I was going to listen. My task was to steer her towards telling me something remotely interesting, to take my mind off the voice. Anyway, at one point she raised the subject of the recent finding of a body in a well on the outskirts of Alhaurin. The well was on a finca; a house in the country with a modicum of land. She told me that she had rented this property out for a while. First to a French couple on a 12 month let and then a French man who disappeared after one month of a six month contract. La Romana looked quite pleased with herself as she slipped in the titbit a friend from the Guardia Civil had given her. The remains of the corpse were wearing Marks & Spencer pants. So the deceased couldn’t possibly have been French. I didn’t have the heart to mention M&S’s ventures into France 10 years ago and the proximity of Gibraltar. Still, the second option is unlikely, and who would wear 10 year old underwear? By the way, towards the end of that 3 hour session, my student showed me an e-mail from a big-wig at Hugo Boss. Good for her. And one in the eye for cynical old me.