Whilst heading home from shopping the other day I passed my old town centre apartment, I noticed there was a For Sale sign in the window and being the inquisitive type I wondered just how much my £37500 investment was worth and wondered what it looked like inside.
I remember the first time I stepped in through the front door, within seconds I knew this place could be a happy home, I could see my friends and family here too, I was actually renting a property two doors down the road, my landlord at the time was amazing, but, times had to change, if I didn’t make this adjustment to my new single life, i never would, I had got a responsible professional position now, I was busy, my flat was short term, I needed a permanent base, the two girls who owned Number 33, as it became known, had decided to take a year out.
I believe it’s a statement made by students quite often in university where they get involved in either picking potatoes in jersey or treading grapes for cheap wine in Tuscany or rebuilding their spirits by getting laid every night in Ibiza, oh no, not these two, they were off seeking love from the same sex in a tent somewhere near to Fraser island in Australia via the Far East, this was to be a big gamble for two rather large lesbians who were the wrong side of thirty, however, they needed to rent the property out to finance there sex ventures.
I was offered a guaranteed 12 months lease at a very reasonable rate, far less than what i was paying at 27B, and with an option to purchase at the end of that period. It was the evening of the girls leaving party, now, considering, I had agreed to share the apartment with them for a week before their departure, four sexually active people of the wrong attracting sex worked well, it had been fun, sadly, it was short lived, the revelers to the party kept on arriving, there was tens and tens and loads more besides.
There were Butch dykes to bitch babes, quite a few of the male guests bore suspect to wearing the “Dorothy” badge and quite a few of the town chavs too, they were all either high or pissed, the kitchen had become an emporium of alcohol and drugs, a steady stream of inebriated personas traversed back and forth to the lounge, Jamiroquai, was blaring out quite loudly and puffs of toxic smoke permeated about the three floors, the bathroom was permanently occupied, the perfect place for the inexplainable conception, and then of course, the inevitable happened, one pretty young thing caught a wrong trip and the paramedics arrived in force, she was carted off and the party was closed down immediately.
Rather upset at how this had become an anticlimax, myself and “a n other” grabbed a possible suspect and the three of us spent the remainder of the night locked in the rear bedroom having our own private party, the following morning, we found a hand written note through the letter box from a neighbour who over looked the property, stating “please keep your curtains closed in times of intimacy”, the girls read this and giggled, they too had not secured their drapes either, as for the voyeur, seemed he got himself a bargain and a case of the “BOGOF’s”!
Late afternoon was time for the ladies to depart, we waved goodbye as they left, taking their cat with them, it was to be dropped off enroute to a friends, the scabby feline had left its fleas behind, a whole army had embedded themselves in the carpets, i hate fleas, and after i had got over the shivers running up and down my spine, i decided, if this was going to be my home, then, the changes start now, by the time the lusty lesbians had arrived at Gatwick Airport, all the carpets had been lifted and had taken a flight out the lounge window, i had an idea, the first floor now consisting of a lounge, mezzanine hallway, a bedroom, and another staircase to the top floor, was destined for a makeover.
Now, I’m pretty nifty with a saw and by the next morning, the majority of the stud partition walls were outside on the front yard, this area had now become a galleried living space, styled almost like a New York loft, the great room had been created, there was no turning back now, I had unilaterally committed to buy, picking the phone up, I contacted one of the girls mothers, made a cheeky offer, then approached the bank of Mum and Dad for a deposit for a mortgage and in less than 6 weeks, Number 33 was mine.
The last i heard from Belle and Belinda, was that they had both been arrested in Bankok for wearing a strap-on named “Black Brenda” in public.
Number 33 was home for seven wonderful years, it was a very very happy place, renowned intimate Christmas eve soirees, friends would arrive and just make themselves at home, many crazy Saturday nights we would talk rubbish into the early hours and Sunday breakfasts happened after 3pm, I remember hearing my daughter telling me to “do something about that fucking christmas tree” as we ate our dinner, it had fallen over three times that evening, and whilst having Boxing day lunch with my Dad and dearest Chris, we watched the disaster unfold that was The Tsunami, my mother had passed away earlier that year, and we all cried together as the snow fell heavily outside, we always had candles lit, our two puppies grew up there together, after walks to the harbour they would wipe their muddy oily paws on the white sofas and run up and down the stairs like demented creatures and drive us both to distraction, as we traversed to London for work, it became our holiday home, we would return frequently, Number 33 was a safe and warm place, it was our home, our sanctuary, but, times changed, as do circumstances, health forced a move to Rockleigh where i now sit and write this.
And now, after I look at the sales brochure for the property, I feel extremely sad, there had been alterations after we moved out, certainly there is no character there, it is bland and looks dirty, and i cannot believe there is a price tag of almost £140K.
Memories are what we hold most deep within our DNA, *kodak* moments, instant REM’s replace photographs, stored forever in our own personal albums, and to have had, and to have shared with those I love and those I remember are worth more than any amount of brick and mortar.