Category Archives: John de Borman

“Studying is hard and boring. Teaching is hard and boring. So what you’re telling me is to be bored, and then bored, and finally bored again, but this time for the rest of my life. This whole stupid country is bored. There’s no life in it, or colour, or fun. It’s probably just as well that the Russians are going to drop a nuclear bomb on us any day now. So my choice is to do something hard and boring, or to marry my Jew, and go to Paris and Rome and listen to jazz and read and eat good food in nice restaurants and have fun. It’s not enough to educate us anymore, Mrs Walters. You’ve got to tell us why you’re doing it.”


“Don’t be bourgeois, Jenny. You’re better than that. You drink everything I put in front of you down in one, and you slam your glass down on the bar and ask for more, it’s wonderful. We’re not clever like you, so we have to be clever in other ways, because if we weren’t, there would be no fun. We have to be clever with maps, and…Do you want to know what stats are? Stats are old ladies who are scared of coloured people. So we move the coloureds in and the old ladies move out and I buy their flats cheap. That’s what I do. So now you know. And if you don’t like it, I’ll understand, and you can go back to Twickenham and listen to the Home Service and do your Latin homework. But these weekends, and the restaurants and the concerts – they don’t grow on trees. This is who we are, Jenny.”


“There may well have been the odd sixth-form girl who has lost an important part of herself – perhaps the best part – while under our supervision. These things happen, regrettably. If however we are made aware of that loss, then of course the young lady in question would have to continue her studies elsewhere.”