It was time to move out into the world. We’d left home; now it was time to leave the security and warmth of student halls of residence. An adventure, indeed. We were keen, energetic, and clueless.
There were thousands of houses let to students in the area. I’m fairly sure we took the first house we looked at. We saw the right number of bedrooms and our own front door. We chose to not see the grub, the mouldy bulge in the kitchen ceiling, or that the plaster on the living room wall appeared to be held up only by the ancient and peeling wall paper. We were charmed by bits falling around us if the door was slammed. Memory has blurred how the door could have been slammed since it probably never closed properly- maybe a draft was enough to bring the plaster down?
We were playing house. We painted with enthusiasm, we ate a lot of toast, we collected shopping trolleys in the back yard. We studied and partied. We huddled round tiny fires or costly blow heaters which warped LPs. We stayed up all night. We cooked individual ‘meals’. We put on layers of clothes before going to bed- climbing into sleeping bags under duvets. We didn’t realise it was the coldest winter in years.
We made the house our own. We made memories.
Many years later, I still can’t watch the Sound of Music without thinking of making that move. We bought brushes and sponges and cloths and any amount of cleaning products. We piled into the house, opened the windows, sang along to loud music, and cleaned with gusto. In a move away from the regular programming, J branched into musicals; ‘I have confidence in Ajax, I have confidence in Vim …’
Written in response to RemembeRED: Cleaning House, over at Write on Edge. If I can figure out how to link from there, I’ll be very impressed.