In May 2013 I posted this short piece about a book called “Traveling Light or Cycling Europe on Fifty Cents a Day”. You may want to read what I wrote at the time before continuing to read this. Done it? Good…
Today is my final day of work at Gillotts School in Henley-on-Thames before I head off to Spain to learn the language and then cycle north in the direction of Norway. But back to Gillotts. I’m a teacher of French and my colleagues in the modern languages department are an imaginative bunch. Indeed most language teachers are, I think, more imaginative than your average person because they have to be to do their job well. When I left my previous teaching job I was given a Tshirt as a leaving present. In itself not particularly imaginative until you looked on the back. The school initials of each teacher in the department had been listed and next to each was an inventive expression. I seem to remember that ‘NEL’ for example was ‘nice eccentric lady’ (although I may be making that up, not sure). Anyway, my own school initials were ‘ASY’. One of my witty colleagues had come up with ‘anti-social yob’. It still makes me smile. So to yesterday. My department gathered and I was presented with a wrapped package. I could tell it was a book. An English-Spanish dictionary? A guide book to Spain? I removed the paper only to find a second layer, this time of tissue paper. Very intriguing… Would a dictionary be wrapped this way? Unlikely. I carefully removed this second wrapping to reveal an old, red book. Slightly tatty. Interesting… I looked at my colleagues with no doubt a slightly bemused expression on my face. I opened the book and read the title: ‘Traveling Light or Cycling Europe in Fifty Cents a Day’. Now that’s an imaginative parting gift. Thank-you!
What a great present! They did really well to find that – I think that their effort to find it shows how much they have appreciated you being part of their team. Good luck.
Good luck! You will be missed.
An unusually thoughtful present – looks like you are going to be missed.