A LOVESTRUCK Calderdale doctor is going back to the classroom decades after he left it in order to learn Russian to woo his bride.
Stuart Oliver, 55, fell in love with Marina Pavlova from Ukraine following a whirlwind internet romance. She lives in Lugansk 30 miles from the Russian border which has a predominantly Russian-speaking population.
After a series of dates in England, Egypt and her homeland the Cambridge-educated medic proposed to her just three months after they met.
She accepted and the happy couple are looking forward to setting up home in Forest Hill Gardens, Outlane, once all the onerous bureaucratic regulations are overcome.
But one glaring obstacle to their union remains – Stuart’s inability to converse with 36-year-old Marina in her native tongue.
“Marina is fluent in English but sadly I can’t talk to her in her language and I don’t think that is a good thing,” he said.
“It would be good to be able to speak to her friends and hold basic conversations for a start.”
So although he has a demanding job as a senior clinical research physician in Cheshire for a major company he has decided that there is nothing else to be done but to embark on a challenging course of study at the University of Manchester’s language department.
“So far I have had four lessons and it’s not easy,’’ he said. “Languages were always my weak link – I pretty much dropped them as soon as I left school.
“But I think it’s the appropriate thing to do and it will help when I am talking to her friends. I’m quite self-disciplined but it’s just getting the time to do it.
“As well as a busy job I am helping my parents adjust to a new life as they have just sold their home and I also play chess when I can for Huddersfield Chess Club.
“Marina’s 10-year-old son Vladyslav is also starting to have regular English lessons courtesy of a private tutor in addition to his usual studies as we are hoping to bring him over to England too.
“It’s strange doing my homework again after all these years but I just have to buckle down to it.
“It’s not easy but I’m sure it will be worth the effort.”
Asked whether he could say: “I love you” in Russian he said: “I would have to look it up but it’s not that difficult to say.”