Laurie Taylor Column

January 5, 2007

Enjoying your goose, Roger? It's Nigel Slater.

Who's Nigel Slater?

Your goose is Nigel Slater. From his book. Roast goose with juniper sauce and apple and lemon puree. Roger, is everything all right? At your university?

Not really.

Tell your mother. What's been happening?

Well, I was entered for an award by my department.

An award. That's lovely. What sort of an award?

One of the awards given by The Times Higher . It's a weekly paper. It's quite well known.

Of course it is, Roger. I'm sure I've heard of it. And what was the award for?

Lifetime Achievement.

That's wonderful. And who could possibly deserve it more. You've spent more than a lifetime at that university of yours.

That was the problem.

What problem?

Well, the organisers wrote back and said that although my 33 years at the university meant I was well in the running for the "lifetime" part of the award...

Yes, go on, my darling. And eat up that last roast potato.

They said they couldn't find any evidence at all of achievement.

Roger, don't cry. There, there. Finish your lovely juniper puree. That's it. Of course, you've had achievements. As far as your mother's concerned you've had lots of achievements.

What achievements?

Well, just look at...

Just look at what, mother?

Just look at that nice clean plate.

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