So now I’m taken to writing about this place that I live cos it’s meant a lot to me.* Let me describe some the two places me and my love shared before we came here, just to balance out the picture for you.
Well, December 92 saw me move away from mamas castle and seek out life on my own – find out what it’s all about and all that. Best way for my unsure legs to find some security was to live with people I knew so I prepared myself to live with mad Mick, a boyfriend of a friend that I’ve long known. Together we had to prepare his house for my arrival as there was already one other living there (drunk Rich) and not enough bedrooms.
Now, this house was mid-terrace in the centre of town (or near as dammit – just a spit from all facilities one could wish for, pub, chip shop, late corner store, town centre and hospital!) At the front was a main road, facing more houses and an old folks community Centre. At the rear a yard with a kind of singletrack service road and the backyards of the houses on the other side.
I was to have the big front bedroom that looked over the main road. Mick and Rich were not great housekeepers but that was fine with me. Many drunken nights had taken a toll on the house and its possessions – though plenty more were to come.
So it was Mick and I chop the living room in half by erecting a wall in the middle – a wall we were proud off because it stood and we didn’t believe it would! The kitchen and the bathroom both got our attention too though enthusiasm waned for DIY as time passed by and I moved in.
My room was the exception of the house tidywise as I cleaned it thoroughly before moving in and can sometimes be bothered to look after myself in that way. As the DIY got slated in favour of wild nights out some rooms became difficult to traverse. The Black & Decker workmate would often have to be negotiated to enter the kitchen or the bathroom. At one time the bathroom floor was awash with wood shavings and dust and even when clean and finished, the carpet held the dusty dullness. This was not a worry for us young active men who had no time to such activities as tidying up and our house (I could now call at ‘our’ house) was prone to the ‘let’s go to Mick’s’ after the pub closed syndrome i.e. it was a party house.
After only one month here I met my love (I knew I would) and after two more months (and a lot more story not yet wrote) she moved into my room. We were blissful and our surroundings did not bother us. Drunk Rich’s girlfriend moved in too.
As spring turned quickly into summer (I remember summer coming early) we’d all often sit outside for breakfast on any of the many cable drums I had deposited in the backyard as furniture. We’d chat lazily and plan the day in the hot sun. The summer wore on and my love and I made the decision to save up and leave the country – this we decided was not going to be an easy task in such a madhouse, and with that, with many other personal reasons, we up’d all our possessions into Pete and Catherine’s next door!
They both seemed reasonable people and not such drunken unreliable maniacs. This time we shared a back room a lot smaller and much of that taken up by a big double bed. This was luxury to us as we’d been squeezed into a single bed next door for several months. And so it was we slept most of the time on one side of the bed!
Not all our possessions would fit in the one room so we took up some of the spare too. This is where I think our first problem arrived. Most of my stuff was in that room and I’d spent much of my time there are my sweetheart would occupy herself in the bedroom. The kitchen too was small and the bathroom, though having the best show ever, being built as a downstairs extension, soon produced great mushrooms of mould. Though glad of a change in circumstance I felt this move may not have been a good choice.
Most nights we’d all sit together watching TV, eating our meals, drinking some beer and smoking some dope and as winter drew in, lit a cosy open fire. Though often interspersed by nights out or friends coming round we soon got bored with this and tried to occupy ourselves much more upstairs in our rooms but it wasn’t really working out. We soon got to the stage of going round to our friend’s (Kerry) house every night and spent a horrible chickenpox Christmas there.
We knew then that we had to leave so took to looking for flats or bedsits. Not cheaply priced in this area and not much for your money we were despondent of our situation until a longtime pal mentioned we could move into where he and his girlfriend were moving out from, as they were off to live in a house they’d just bought.
It looks like I didn’t actually get round to writing much about that house in the end. Just this:
*Blinding brightness descends from heaven across the viewpoint in my yard, as I sit here and ponder. Here I am surrounded by bricks and mortar, shining pinks and reds in the sunlight and I smile, a beam of happiness. Even though the buildings encroach my view I am here with the trees and the flowers, the grass, and insects buzzing wildly by on their own little lives of adventure. And with the people. Gentle wisps of cloud delicately float by then evaporate in the all-encompassing, unforgiving heat of the sun, our noon Moon. Children play and scream in the dirt road at the bottom of the garden, down a gentle slope.