I have lived in a number of residences. Chronologically:-
The Family Home
This was (is) in a delightful leafy suburb of Liverpool called Woolton. For a growing Gnomepants this was the centre of the world, everywhere else was just aspiring to be like Woolton. A charming 1930’s semidetached house placed about quarter way up a steep hill meaning it was ideally located. In later times it was discovered that staggering home downhill from the pub was far easier than staggering home uphill from the pub.
The three bedroomed property has front and back gardens, a garage, a shed and a sizeable kitchen with all the modern gadgets. Everything a growing boy needed. Sadly privacy was lacking so reluctantly I had to leave and head out into the big bad world. But before that I had a brief spell in student halls of residence.
The Student digs
Having been accepted late onto a course at the new Sheffield Hallam University I had a right job finding a place to live. The only digs that remained fell into two categories; the cheap grotty mould farms and the expensive “out of your budget” posh places. In the end I managed to find one for £40 a week (a lot of money in those days). It was a newly refurbished block of flats. In a previous life they had been the luxurious manse of some wealthy city dweller, complete with stables (also converted) and horse hair ceiling plaster. Later in its life it became business premises but as people realised there was more money to be had providing digs for students it switched to residences.
The flat was small. I shared with 3 other guys, Biff, Adrian (Brum) and Tony (Wanker). My window overlooked the pub across the road (The Rolling Mill (Now also student flats)) and on a good day you could see Sheffield United Football Ground and Wards Brewery.
It was ideally located for uni (a short 30 minute walk (I walked a lot more in them days)) and the shops (Safeway and a little post office-cum-general stores). But as the rooms were originally offices they did not have the correct ventilations and within 5 months the walls became black with mould. The walls were dull and boring. We stuck several sheets of A4 together and drew a fireplace on it because it added character. And then…there was the cold.
It gets cold in Sheffield. Very cold. Its something to do with being the wrong side of the Pennines. So imagine our surprise and horror when we discovered that none of our heaters worked. Further investigation revealed that Tony had gone room to room removing the fuses from the heaters power supplies so that “We didn’t run up huge electricity bills”. Lets just say he wasn’t very popular after that.
The flat above the fishing tackle shop
My first bachelor pad. Several years after returning from Sheffield I had to get out from my family home and make my own way. The flat was situated above a shop that sold live bait. It was handy for the shops, my friends and had really good transport links.
During the summer, the flat was bakingly hot. I would often come home from work to find my butter had melted and the pan of lard which I used to keep on the stove was no longer solid. I tried to make it cooler one morning by opening the windows slightly and leaving them open while I was at work. Big mistake.
When I returned from work the room resembled a scene from Amityville Horror. A swarm of flies had made one of the windows nearly black. Really, it wasn’t pleasant.
Then in the evenings, as it was handy for the best kebab shop in Liverpool, my friends would often stop off on their way home from the pub so that they could eat their kebabs indoors. Being so close to a kebab shop and a chippy meant that a strange smell started to form within the rooms. Not nice.
Then, in the winter, the cold was unbearable. Ice would form on the inside of the windows and the 2 bar electric fire was as much use as a tealight in the Arctic. I had to get one of them calor gas heaters but even that didn’t cut the cold. At one point I had two calor gas heaters, an electric fan heater and the two bar electric fire and it was still cold enough to leave the freezer door open without fear of the contents defrosting.
I had to vacate the flat when Dawn got too much for me.
The Georgian Terrace
Located in Liverpool city centre, this lovely period apartment retained many of its original features; delightful coving, ceiling roses and antique lead piping. Many happy years here. Nights out were not a hassle and even better than that, it was handy for work so I could nip back for lunch 😀
Then we had the idea that rented accomodation was a waste of money and went and bought our own gaff.
The Private residence
Bought off plan, my first house bought with a mortgage wasn’t even built when money changed hands. Close to the Family Home but far from the madding crowd, it was a constant battle to balance having evenings out with friends (it cost £20 cab fair home sometimes) and the comfort of suburbia. So what we did next…..well….yes….we moved to
The Rural Manse
Where I am now. In the middle of a semi rural housing area in South Yorkshire. Miles from friends, no bus links unless you plan well in advance but good solid walls, nice and warm (when the wind is blowing from the right direction) and internet.