The talks given by Mack and George both seemed to have gone well; and members of the academic staff, including Professor Malcolm Bradbury and Roger Fowler, senior lecturer in Linguistics, both attended and joined us for drinks afterwards. I think both evening events had been successful; and Jonathan and I had been briefly drawn together more closely in organising them.
Happily, it was nearly the end of term and I’d had an interview with the Paul Mellon Foundation on June 18th,( to help to do research on their dictionary of British painters) had been accepted, and was due to start work on Monday. July 1st.
I left Norwich for London, and totally forgot about JR.
While I was in London, I was unfortunate enough to get drawn in to a completely surreal whirlwind engagement to an old friend, Andy Allan, a researcher on the Eamonn Andrews show for Thames Television.
Andy was later to become an executive for three major ITV companies; and is destined to be remembered for axing a show called ‘Crossroads’, and bringing the ‘ Inspector Morse’ series to the nation. On a more personal level, he was destined to jilt me on August 31st 1969, a week before our country church wedding , leaving me with a bespoke wedding dress from Liberty’s, a marquee in a friend’s garden, crates of champagne, a broken heart, and the urgent need to cancel 250 invitations and the photographers from ‘Time and Tide’ magazine. Eamonn Andrews had been scheduled, too. to make an appearance.
It seems that this was ‘not to be my life’, so I hurried back to UEA to begin my second year there on Monday. 7th October, chastened and doped up on Librium. I was anxious to hide away for a while, but my concerned friends decided to drag me in to the students’ bar on Tuesday, 8th October, where a very charming and rather predatory JR approached me with the following line:
‘So glad you didn’t get married. Now you can go out with me’.
‘And marry me’, he added.
I had just turned twenty-three.