Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stick Man and Little Chief

I realised a few weeks ago that I hadn't posted anything on my two ex housemates. Having lived with them for so long our break up should have prompted a post before now, even though this blog is supposed to be about me in all my narcisism. Also I did only recently start blogging again. Anyway...

I lived with Kev for the last 8 years. I lived with Karen on and off for 6. We all met in Uni, at the educational wonder that is the Surrey Institute of Art and Design. Karen and I were studying the beautiful medium of film. Kev was studying animation. I don't feel like I have a huge amount of friends, (though as a little aside all but two of the people I invited to my 30th birthday were able to go and I have way more friends than I actually realised which was cool) but those friends I have really mean alot. So very much in fact. And few mean more than Kev and Karen. Moving out of my beloved flat in West London was so hard because of the sense of home we had created. Flat sharing is inherently temporary, but we had managed to prevent it feeling as such. Shared interests (Karen's football and Kev's animation aside) helped enormously. Our collective DVD collection ran into the many hundreds and as film buffs we could always rely on at least that one thing to bring us together. Be it watching something dodgy from our collection, ("I feel like something light tonight" as if we had had a Tarkovsky marathon for the previous week) or else walking to Blockbuster to fetch something equally dodgy. But the one constant was that, if we happened to be in, we would always be together in the living room, not sitting in our rooms on our own like so many people flat sharing have told me they do.

So many small pleasures but they raise a smile now when I think of them. Emailing each other during our work days to see who fancied having take away and a few beers that night (and that night could be Monday through Sunday) and invariably the emails would degenerate into the most brutal piss taking until someone got insulted or bored or, God forbid, would actually have to stop emailing because they had to do some work. Enjoying each other's oddities and idiosyncracies. Kev's flat panics, my favourite still being the day it started to rain heavily and, while I was in the loo, he was banging down the door trying to get in because he heard me pissing and somehow thought that sound was the rain getting into the bathroom. If you had seen his panic you'd know how funny it was. With Karen, well it would have to be her tendency to combine opinion with ideas and dreams to make "facts." Sprinkled in fairy dust and bearing no relation to anything in the real world, she would nonetheless tell you with such a straight face that, even though you know what she was saying simply made no sense, she would be so invested in it you couldn't help but get sucked in...! For my part, well I know I contributed many a story to our little threesome. From my naked wandering up and down the hall on a day I thought no one was in except that Karen was, to the night I, half asleep/half drunk wandered into the lounge thinking it was the toilet and pissed on the couch, to the simple fact of me not being particularly good at the practical things in life with bills going unpaid for some weeks, important calls not being get the picture. My bad moods they could take with a pinch of salt, my playing the same songs on my guitar over and over again that would drive them a bit mad but which they knew meant alot to me and so would put up with. What can I say? I'm not sure how the cosmic forces aligned to get me together with the two of them but somehow and for some reason they did and I was rewarded with their patience.

This post should have happened weeks ago. And what brought it into my mind and what made me sit down and write it is the fact that, of all the things we did together, our various trips to Barcelona, to Holland and various cottages in Devon and Cornwall, settling down to watch 24, our many meals out and drinks nights with the gang, my favourite time of year in the flat was Christmas. The flat would be decorated from the end of November with the most tacky decorations we could find, not always Kev's pleasure but that was part of the fun. Karen and I pretending to annoy him with it all, Kev pretending to be annoyed. From the Christmas Tree Angel with Down's to Santa and Mrs Claus singing in the bath to the inumerable singing trees/hats/snowmen/whatever I could lay my hands on, the decorations were mercilessly camp and tacky and it was pretty funny. We would have the gang over for a Christmas drinks night and would have our own "Christmas Day" which was hands down my favourite day of the year. Exchanging presents, cooking the biggest Christmas dinner you've ever seen, sherry or port in the afternoon, beers in the evening, chat, laughs, great times with great people. This year I miss that tremendously.

But life goes on. It was me after all that had a major hand in breaking our little home up. And in truth it was probably time. Kev is now living with his girlfriend, the lovely Michelle, and they are building a life together. Karen is about to embark on a pretty wild adventure around the world as she heads for South America in January for four months and then around the rest of the world for over a year. A braver person than I for sure, it will be phenomenol. And you all know where I am and what I'm doing. We left the flat at a point that was good for each of us, even if Karen had a bit of a wait before she jets off. In the end what I hope is that I've been able to help in some way when that was necessary, been a source of comfort or advice maybe when needs be but to be perfectly honest more than anything I hope I made you guys laugh, both intentionally and unintentionally, I don't care which. I don't mean to sound like one of us is dying or something. It's just this really is the end of an era. A really special era. I had such fun living with you, you're my best friends always, and I'm alot better for knowing you.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow what a nice post Gaz, it is so much better than you blathering on about some film or other.
Although I have no idea what you are talking about regarding my "facts"; a fact is a fact!
I have a big grin on my face from remembering some great times in the flat, too many to recall here. But thanks for making me remember.

2:40 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home