Tuesday 20 October 2015
Sunny 15 degrees
Dreamed that I was back at University but, and this is progress, it was youngest WF who was moving into the house in Gateshead where I spent my second year. He was holed up in his room, looking at his computer, so I went and looked at the other rooms. People were in the middle of decorating. One had the most ravishing flower wallpaper and gorgeous bedding. Another room belonged to a married couple and they were hanging art deco style paper in a horizontal manner. They suddenly realised they were doing it wrong and hung it vertically where the paper pattern revealed itself as a lake of water lilies and a huge red arum lily in the centre. I then went outside and found my former room mates and they were trying to dispose of old paperwork and files which they didn't want to take home. We were on the road by the North End football ground and they were tossing stuff into the bushes.
I left Uni in 1985 and, with it, the people I had known there. There was a girl who had the downstairs room in Gateshead. A previous occupant had painted the walls with a red stencil stating 'censored!'. That took some painting out. She married just after we all graduated, moved down to near Cambridge and became an accountant. They moved back up to Newcastle a few years later. I believe they have separated. Never found her on FB or Friends Reunited.
Upstairs were myself, IE and SL. IE was my best friend during Uni. He was a lovely person with a line of bad girlfriends who were neurotic to a woman. He was generous and kind and funny. He married a blond catholic girl - he sent me a photo - and has also, disappeared into the ether.
SL was a liberal reactionary but didn't actually extend to getting out and protesting about anything. Famous father. Smoked a lot of weed with girl from downstairs. His parents came to visit us once during our time there. Complete dichotomy between their straight laced and stiff personas and the raunchy writings of the father. When the mother rang to speak to SL she introduced herself in a bark and gave her full name. Very cold, both of them. I was lazily googling, many years later, and discovered SL had become a solicitor. You could have knocked me down with a feather.
The girl downstairs introduced a friend of hers who came to live, briefly and disastrously, with us. He wasn't a student and lived on the dole and his passion was Dungeons and Dragons - a role playing game in the days before computers - he would spend all day setting up the scenario then dragoon the boys into playing with him. He was very strange. The more weed he consumed, the more violent he came and then started making threats to kill us. We were terrified and went to the police. They said they couldn't do anything until one of us was harmed. We went to the landlord. He was far more hands on. A stocky Geordie, he ran up the stairs, bounced open the locked door with his shoulder and physically threw the guy out of the house with the assurance that he would xxxxing xxxx xxxx xxxx. Convincing words. We never saw him again.
Gateshead was one of the best years of my life - a year when I lived each day fully - so many experiences for my subconscious to chew over when given liberty so to do.
I also tracked down my boyfriend of the time and was pleased to see that he had found a lovely girl and was living in the Lakes. He had changed so little. Very surprised to see that he had a child. He had always been very much against a family. As, indeed, was I. That is the problem with marrying an insurance man with a flexible endowment. Great powers of persuasion...