Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Student days take 2 circa 1972 ............ a story from my friend Lois*

You know the phrase about returning to one's childhood, well, I think we are returning to our student-hood. 

For some reason we hadn't anything in particular for dinner tonight, so we peered into the freezer, found three random plastic boxes of stuff, mixed them together and had them with pasta... to be honest, they did compliment each other - vegetable soup, pasta with tomatoes and chorizo and four lonely meatballs with new potatoes.

However... when I say we are returning to student-hood, I definitely don't mean we're returning to live in the way we had to live when we were doing our degrees.

Our student days were very different from those our children experience now; we had no halls or residence or student accommodation, we lived in dire bedsits and so called flats, in the worst areas.

These places were unheated, with old falling to bits furnishings, filthy carpets, the most basic of kitchens often with only a Baby Belling for a cooker, and no fridges let alone freezers! There were shared bathrooms (honestly, my kids would just refuse!) often dirty despite our best 18 year-old efforts, vermin ridden (fleas, mice, rats for example...)

We tried hard to keep the places we lived in clean, using a dustpan and brush because there was no hoover or cleaner, we took our clothes to the launderette each week and ironed them on the table (we bought an iron but couldn't afford an ironing board) we used bleach everywhere (there weren't the array of super-cleaning materials there are now) and we did our best...

... but you know what student life is like... papers everywhere, open books upon open books, piles of texts (books not mobile phone messages!) forgotten coffee mugs, things put down and then forgotten...Looking round my workroom now there are several piles of different papers beside me, a folder of things about Anglo-Saxon on the floor, a folder of an old story I'm thinking about rewriting, booklets of English exercises I've written for my English conversation classes, and two mugs i have forgotten to take downstairs... oh and a cookery book, a register, some archaeology magazines...

Location; Manchester

Picture; Mike, John, Lois, circa 1970, Chatham Grove Withington, Manchester, from the collection of Lois Sparshot

*Lois Sparshothttp://loiselden.com/2016/01/31/student-days-take-2/

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