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He says farewell to innocence.
I had difficulty following her rapid French but she seemed to explain it with any criticism of me.
Regine's initial reaction mirrored that of Joyce's daughters showing that she too was a product of her environment. Katarina interrupted her and showed her own view that Regine accepted with some astonishment and apparent awe for Simon's forbearance.
Then Regine spoke as the tutor. She spoke slowly and clearly so that I could follow what she said.
"This is an unexpected development. It makes my students' task much harder than they had expected. Will you, Hazel, co-operate with them despite your misgivings?"
"Yes, Regine, I will even if I am just a mannequin for them to dress up. I will help them as much as I can and keep my emotions concealed."
"I think that you will find that difficult. Thank you for your offer. I will consider your state of mind when I assess what the students achieve. Are you ready for the photo session?"
"Then we will start as if I had not heard this explanation. Go to it, girls. Record Hazel as she is. Remember that you should record her at her best and not try to cheat by making her stand awkwardly or in bad poses. You should aim to take the poses and camera angles exactly as you will want to do in a fortnight's time."
The photo session didn't start until I had been through a shower, had my short hair dried and styled, and a basic bland make-up applied to cover skin blemishes on my face. The girls also recorded me on video walking, standing and sitting. They interviewed me in French. That was difficult because I didn't always have the words I wanted to use.
They printed a portfolio of photos from the digital camera and copied the video. We all went back to see Regine after lunch. She looked through everything that had been done and suggested a few extra shots. When those had been taken to her satisfaction she dismissed Joyce and I to look round the campus while she discussed with her students the programme for the fortnight.
I enjoyed that stroll around with Joyce. We talked about the differences between living in England and France, caught up with gossip about mutual friends and relaxed in each other's company as old friends do when they meet after a break. I was feeling much better about the girls' project when we met them in the canteen as we had arranged.
They had work to do before they started on me tomorrow. They had to write up their proposals, agree them with Regine, book facilities, that sort of thing. Could we come back to collect them at five o'clock?
We could. Joyce and I went into Lille itself. She showed me the sights. Just before five we were back to collect the girls who were subdued by all the paperwork required. The 'risk assessment' had been the final straw because most of it just wasn't appropriate.
On the way back they chatted to me. Even after only a couple of days in France my spoken French had improved significantly. Jeanne and Anne had visited England, Katarina hadn't.
I won't go into detail about the first week. I endured it but didn't enjoy it. Jeanne and Anne worked on my hair and skin, Katarina worked very hard on my body. I had exercises to do and mud packs to accept. Throughout the whole process I talked with them in English so that they picked up the correct usage for the techniques they were using. I had to dig back more than two years to the time when I read women's magazines and visited hairdressers and beauty parlours.
On three evenings I spent time with Joyce's psychiatrist friend. Nothing seemed to be changing how I felt about myself. I could sense the three girls getting more and more tense as the end of Friday approached. They had just one more week to produce a made-over Hazel and it looked as if I would just be a robot.
The depression around the dinner table that evening could be cut with a knife.
Raoul looked round at the five miserable women and snorted.
"Fine company you lot are! Look at you.