‘What would you say to your childhood home?’ asks Art House Co-ops’s Letters To Home project. I haven’t left home yet. But I have had many homes being a student. So instead of writing a letter (of apology, really… ) to my student homes I thought I’d try and sum up my very different experiences.
Yew Tree Road was my first student home.
“The dodgy end or the nice end?” Jak, asked me when I told him where I was living. I didn’t know. Turns out it was a bit of both. Someone was shot at the end of our road and we were broken it to. But we also had a sweet but annoying old man as our neighbour who took it upon himself to tidy our garden. He was doing his bit to ignore the bad things. I lived with three boys and one girl. It actually felt like I lived with one boy because the girl came with one of the boys and the other boy was out a lot. There is always somebody who is out a lot. That boy also decided to reinforce his space; padlock his door and cupboards and not say a thing about it. That was the end to laughing at his CD collection.
Central Road was better.Three boys became one and one girl became none. She didn’t like paying for things. Like bills. She had to go. We didn’t have mice there either and we both knew where we stood. It was a pretty great year. We listened a lot to the couple downstairs arguing and smelt the guy smoking weed. We covered the walls with our art and our kitchen table was always inviting us to make something. It was also the year I switched courses. I felt like a fresher all over again. I had my freinds to stay and brought people back for parties. But then my friend graduated. I’d decided to live in Paris for half of the following year which led me to living with strangers all over again.
Whalley Range was a four month sentence.
I actually can’t remember the road I lived on. It’s just not there. All I remember is that it was temporary. And I was okay with that. It was always far too clean and the girl who owned it rarely went out. Her ‘one-pot’ recipe book took a battering and she wouldn’t let me wear my shoes indoors. This was not my kind of house. I shared it with another girl also. She skyped her dog daily and really had the most boring boyfriend imaginable. He laughed when I told him I’d joined a sewing soceity. I wanted to stitch his mouth up. He was a policeman and she was so scared of all the horrible things he came home with she didn’t go out. I later gave my room over to a girl who got kicked out for growing something she shouldn’t have. It was my revenge on them.Northen Grove came after Paris.
Paris is too much to sum up. Too much for here anyway. So I’ll just skim over it… My final year sent me back to living near Central Road. Joining a sewing society paid off as I met one of girls there I ended up living with. She told me there’d be cats. And there were. Ziggy and Napoleon were with us for about three months and then they had to go. One out of the five of us didn’t like them much and they needed a lot attention. We also got a lot of attention for the sofas we had in our front garden. This was the result of a house party we took a little longer than we should of getting round to fix. During this time we had a new visitor. Albert (pronounced Alber, he was French you see). A snowy white cat who came into our lives (and home) like he’d always been there. I felt very sad leaving him. We waved goodbye to our house with a house party to end all house parties. Pool, punch and plenty of dancing. Even Albert showed up. It was wonderful.
And that’s it. I can’t imagine living like that again. Or even living with people I don’t know very well again. Each house, flat or room was so different from the last I’d only be disappointed by what I found. Time to fill my future home with cats (and/or babies).
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