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Rob Radboud

Barbara Yung's life in England

The summer holiday was going to be a problem for me and Barbara. Going to school ensured us that we could see each other every day. It also made it possible to tell each other where we were going to be on the days when there was no school. And of course school was good fun, well at least the parts where we didn't have to follow lessons.

But in the summer holiday Barbara had to work in the fish and chip shop. Only Mondays would be her day off. It wasn't sure if she could see me on that day, this depended on what her mother wanted to do. Barbara was also going away with her mother on a two week holiday to the English coast.

Since we met we have never been separated for more than two days, this summer holiday was going to a challenge for us.
My father had his principles. One of them was that if his sons wanted to do something special, they have to pay for it themselves. If I wanted to go out or ride a bike or go on holidays, I had to work for it. He also wanted us to work in order to get some experience in low paid jobs. He hoped that this would stimulate us to finish our studies and not start work too early. His principles worked so well for me that I was 29 years old before I had my first serious job.

My father was one of the directors of a large company in Cambridge (Pye Unicam). He arranged for me a job at his company, in the fabrication department. It was a boring and dirty job. I didn't mind to work as it was only during the summer holidays and I used (or took advantage of) the privileges of being the bosses son. Like chatting with his secretary for a long time or drinking coffee with my father or his business partners. My foreman didn't dare to correct me on that. Also there was not much else to do as our friends worked as well or went home to their home country.
The problem was that my job was during the day and Barbara had work at lunchtime and in the evening. There were little opportunities tfor us to see each other.

In first week of the holiday Barbara told her mother that school was still going on and I arranged not to work that week, therefore we could see each other the whole week. The weeks after that Barbara had told her mother that she was following a summer art course on Mondays. That way we could see each other at least once a week. As I had to work on Monday she would be waiting for me at lunch time the outside the factory in a little park, we saw each other half an hour then. Then after work she was waiting for me again in the same park.

All the other days at the lunchtimes I went to the same park in the hope to find Barbara waiting for me. It was of course a bit stupid but I kept hoping she might turn up. It never happened, it was just wishful thinking. We tried to meet in weekends but that was always problematic and uncertain.

When Barbara went on the two week holiday with her mother it was a very difficult time for me. Later she showed me the photo's of that vacation, in all of them she was looking sad. When I asked her about it she said very annoyed 'What do you think, you know why!".








(translated by Zhi)




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