- How did you end up both working at RHS?
Mr Hodson: In my first year here Mrs Hodson-Langer was the German assistant. She left at the end of that year and we travelled to see one another once every three weeks or so for the next two years before Mrs H-L completed her teacher training and was offered a job back at RHS.
Mrs H-L: I spent a sandwich year at Harrow during my university studies and enjoyed it so much that I decided to spend another year abroad after my master’s degree. I applied to many different boarding schools and somehow ended up in the middle of nowhere, at RHS.
- How did you meet?
Mr Hodson: It was the night before staff inset in 2008 and we were both invited to drinks by the then Blake matron, Ms Lou Pearson. ‘Miss Langer’ told me her name and I wittily inquired whether her dad was called ‘Bernard; (name of famous German golfer). She said, ‘Yes.’ Which is true. He is not, however, the golfer, he just shares the same name.
Mrs H-L: We met at the start of our first year at RHS at a drinks party and we were then part of the same friendship group. There were times though when I thought he was quite arrogant. Well, I have changed my mind a bit on that.
- Can you describe what your first date was like?
Mr Hodson: Technically, it was when we ran a trip to Chinatown for about 12 Chinese students on a leave-out weekend Sunday, but I guess it would be unromantic of me to call that a date?
Mrs H-L: I think our lunch date at the Butt & Oyster can be considered our first date. Although at that point I didn’t really realise it. (A friend told me afterwards that it was a date!) I think it was pretty relaxed -as I didn’t realise it was a date. I had a burger and he paid. All good!
- Any baby name ideas you can tell us about?
Mr Hodson: We like to keep this a secret, but I can say we are finding it difficult this time. We were both very keen on Jonah because it is traditional, but not common, in England and Germany, and is pronounced slightly differently in each language, which we like. We want something similar in that sense, but it’s not easy. I am also keen that the name has the same letter value score in Scrabble as ‘Jonah’ does (15).
Mrs H-L: No sorry, top secret. Plus he hasn’t really accepted any of my suggestions yet. But we find it really hard this time.
- Would you educate your children at RHS?
Mr Hodson: I think RHS is a wonderful place to go to school and, if Jonah wanted to come, we would happily send him. At the same time, I was state-educated and I found that experience really valuable, so I think I’d be happy for my children to go to state school if the local school was decent. Also, people often say it’s hard for students who have parents teaching at the school they attend, but I imagine it is very hard for the parents too sometimes!
Mrs H-L: Difficult… I went to a local grammar school in Germany and Mr Hodson to a state boarding school, but we love RHS, so who knows.
- Who’s the bad cop and good cop with Jonah?
Mr Hodson: It’s more a case of mature cop and immature cop. I like to think I’m the immature cop, but Mrs H-L can be pretty silly too.
Mrs H-L: I think we are both equally good and bad. But one can’t really be bad cop with Jonah. He is too cute.
- Are there any difficulties with working in the same place?
Mr Hodson: We literally never get a break from our marriage.
Mrs H-L: Not really. I personally like it. It was maybe a bit awkward when we first started dating and wanted to keep it a secret. Not possible at RHS! Maybe we talk too much about school back home so that could be considered a downside; you never switch off.
- What do you like to do together in your spare time?
Mr Hodson: We like to travel. We like to garden. We like to buy things with yellow reduced stickers on at the co-op. We like to read picture-books… with Jonah.
Mrs H-L: Spare time? We have Jonah now so free time is rare. But we like travelling, going out for nice meals, watch TV – although we hardly ever watch something together as Mr Hodson is not really into Nordic Noir. He used to force me to watch University Challenge and compete against him. Pretty annoying!
- How is Mr. Hodson’s German doing?
Mr Hodson: It’s still better than Jonah’s. But probably not for long.
Mrs H-L: I think he understands quite a bit and can maintain a basic conversation with my family and friends in Germany. He is always annoyed with me that I don’t correct his mistakes and don’t really answer his grammar questions in detail. I bought him a German grammar book to solve this problem but he was not impressed.
- Is there any name you would really like to call your child but you can’t use it?
Mr Hodson: Yes, Thom II, but Mrs H-L won’t have it. Also, we like the name ‘Vincent’, but we made the mistake of using it for Jonah’s middle name!
Mrs H-L: We had a girl’s name we both liked, Eva, but we are having another boy, so no good.