Saturday, 8 November 2008


I’m still scanning the photos from my photo albums – I don’t know why I bother mentioning that since I’ll be doing it for the next twenty years at this rate... However, this is a fascinating process because I keep coming across things I’d forgotten. For example, in 1996 I had a trip over to Leeds. I cannot recall it at all. But while I was there I took a couple of photos to remind myself of my student days. This is “The Vic”, a second home to Anne, Gill and I for most of the three years (with friends like Judy, Ann and Anne H. regularly joining us).

And this is the house in Victoria Road where I lived (in a great attic flat) for eighteen months. Initially I had moved into the flat on a shared basis with a chap called Dennis who worked for Associated Dairies but who had advertised for someone to share and said “Must be student to fit in”. This despite the fact that he wasn't a student. Typical Dennis.

Dennis was a great character and about as reliable as a chocolate washing machine. We rarely met up during the week as he was usually out and left me in possession of the lounge which meant that I could entertain anyone whenever I wanted. His girlfriend lived in London so I didn’t have to reciprocate. But on Sunday we had a regular Sunday lunch. He was quite a good cook and we alternated the cooking of this traditional meal. One Sunday morning, on a day when it was my turn to cook, he said he was nipping out to the launderette before the meal. Knowing how unreliable he was and how totally unable to keep to time, I gave him the sternest of warnings about the time the meal would be served.

About an hour after the mealtime I ate, on my own. It was eight days later that he returned... He arrived back in the middle of Monday evening while I had a friend, Sue, around. “Hi,” he said, as he dumped his bag of washing in the living room, “I’ll leave you to it, I won’t disturb you, ” and he headed out to the kitchen.

I called him back and asked him what on earth had happened to Sunday lunch the week before. “Oh yes, sorry about that,” he said, “I was watching my washing go round in the machine and I thought I might pop down to see Tess. So I went off to the bus station... Sorry about that. The only problem is my washing’s all dirty again.”

It was about an hour later that Sue and stopped laughing!

About a fortnight later he disappeared again – never to return. I don’t know what happened to him but I inherited his dart-board and various other things, along with his half of the rent. The flat was so good that I couldn’t bear to leave it or share it and went on living there on my own for the next year. It was well worth the double rent.

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