Origami Mark's Photos
|I spent the first 8 months after leaving College living in a minute bedsit in Golders Green.|
As this was just up the road from College, I was able to keep in touch with my old College chums
Eventually they reached the end of their courses, and needed to move on. I got invited to join a flatshare in Kilburn, which I jumped at. My landlady was probably glad to see the back of me, but was most put out that I was leaving her place in favour of somewhere in Kilburn, for heaven's sake !
THe Kilburn gig was originally made up of Nikki, Melanie, another couple from College who wanted to shack up together against their parents' wishes, and me. Only myself and the male member of the couple were working. Whilst we were there I was amazed the differences in benefits the three girls managed to negotiate for themselves. Nikki made the most nuisance of herself at the benefits office and was on about £35 per week, Mel less so, and was on about £25 per week, and ther other one, whose name I forget, was a complete washout, and only on the basic £15 per week, which she spent on sweets and bottles of coke and lemonade.
It all came to an end after a couple of months because the landlord, who was into motorsport, went to that year's TT meeting on the Isle of Man and was killed in a race.
This meant that the business he ran (an insurance broker shop under the flat) was going to close down, and the property sold off, so we had to move out. THis was towards the back end of a really nice summer. I had concerns about being there in the winter months, because it was a massive place which would cost a fortune to heat when the weather turned. There were a few oil-fired free-standing heaters around the place, that looked a bit dubious to me !
The next few months are a bit of a blur as I spent the god knows how long dossing on floors and sofas whilst I looked for somewhere else more permanent.
Nikki, Mel and I kept in touch, having agreed we wanted to stay together, and ditch the other two, as they really were a pair of drips.
I pick the story up with pictures here.
|Number of photos in the album is: 2|
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|At College I became friends with Nikki, pictured here doing some ironing in the flatshare she found for us in Neasden. I had known Nikki for the three years she was at College (she was the year below me). We met through our association with the College Christian Community. |
Nikki's passion was to go scuba diving at the weekend. Most Friday nights she would pack her gear (wetsuit, tent, etc), and get picked up to be whisked off to some wind-swept coast or other. She would return on Sunday night, and I would help her clean up her stuff for the next time. She used to hang her wetsuit on my bedroom door, and on more than one occasion I would wake in the night to see what looked like a body standing there.
There were originally three of us who wanted to find somewhere to share together, but the other girl, Melanie, was never 100% on board with the idea. She was very much on-off other half of Mike, from College. She lived outside London with her parents, and came up to have a look. She immediately decided it was far too basic for her, and went home again, which was obviously much more comfortable. I've never seen her since.
This left us with a need to find a new flatmate.
We got Barry - see next photo.
All good things come to an end, and eventually Nikki moved out to a Christian vegetarian commune in South London, and I had accumulated enough dosh to consider buying my own place, with a view to escaping flatshare land, which I was growing heartily sick of, mainly because the landlord held me responsible for the whole rent, rather than chasing the others for their share. Nikki always paid up on time, but Barry was a different kettle of fish
After Nikki left, Barry and I had various applicants to come and live with us.
These included a middle-aged guy who was parting company with his wife, but eventually (after paying the deposit and rent in advance, and stocking our larder with weird stuff like lobster bisque) went back to his wife, never to be heard of again, and a seriously gay guy who tried to avoid paying anything at all including the deposit. I had to threaten to write a letter to his boss, whose name he had provided as a reference, if he did not pay the deposit. He paid.
|And this is Barry.|
Barry was a tax collector who had been transferred (under something of a cloud) down to London from Newcastle.
He was a similar age to Nikki and I (a bit younger) but did not have our College background. He boasted a bit of a chequered past up in Newcastle, where he enjoyed the reputation for being a bit of a wild child.
He was a serious fan of heavy rock - specifically Led Zeplin - and went to their concerts at every opportunity.
He also had a gang of mates up in Newcastle, and one day Nikki and I made the mistake of agreeing that his mates could come down and stay at the flat over a weekend, so they could see how he was getting on. Nikki went diving that weekend having made me promise that no one was to go in her room while she was away. Yeah - pile it on me again !
I fixed her room up with a shackle and padlock so she could secure it, and off she went.
Barry's mates turned up and proceeded to systematically wreck the place. They broke into Nikki's room (regarding the shackle and padlock as a challenge) and tried to trash her room, before I intervened.
Needless to say, I was very pleased to see the back of those animals, and they were never welcome again, regardless of Barry's protests.
I was seriously in the doghouse when Nicki got back !
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