We moved to Germany. Steve did not know any German, but was expected to learn it. Full of schoolmasterly enthusiasm I proposed to teach him. We tried a few times and then gave up. I had turned out to be too much of a boring disciplinarian; an authoritarian on top – he did not like it and took lessons at work, paid for by his employer. The success was middling – not bad for an Englishman probably. Who had ever heard an Englishman speak another language ? Of course, the wretched Germans did not give my willing Englishman much chance – they were too keen to try out their English with him. I joined him in making uncouth remarks about them. In the end Steve had seven years in Germany, during which time he picked up enough of the language to be able to carry on a conversation about most subjects, even if not grammatically perfect at all times; people certainly recognized he was trying. He earned himself a lot of praise for his endeavours, all the while never giving up his principle of not taking things too seriously.
On our return to Germany two important things came into my life : I started my practical teacher’s training, which is necessary for a full qualification, and I became pregnant.