The veggy shop on the High Street was run by an elderly couple. I’m black. I lived between Clapham and Stockwell, London.

I lived on a small estate. I got on with my neighbours, even the one on the left, who has a cat that she brought from the pet shop that’s situated on the same High Road.

It was a ginger cat with stripes, that miaoed loudly during the night, when I badly needed a good night’s sleep.

My bicycle was chained to the balcony. It was a pain carrying it up to the second floor every time I went to Battersea Park, in order to gaze at the River by the Peace Pagoda.

I was in between jobs. I was a baby-sitter. I had worked looking after a toddler for a couple down the road from me, but they had opted for a Polish lady after a few months, so I was left without a job yet once again.

Maybe I should have done an NVQ in something at the local college.

I got up late. I had to sign on every fourtnight, and I didn’t have that much money to live on.

Sometimes I went to the Clapham Leisure Centre in order to swim. It was a £2.40 ticket, £1.50 concession.

I had gone to Critical Mass once. It was fun to cycle through the city centre. However, I had cycled with not-quite-a-boyfriend Mark, who I had developed a crush on, but who seemed to look at everyone else but me.

One morning I got a prospectus by the local college through the post. I leaved through it, and found a course on photography run by a black lady photographer.

I talked to one of my friends, Amy about the course: “Photogrpahy? Will you get paid for taking photos? ” “I think so.” “Ah, allright.”

So I applied at the little office situated on Clapham Rd. I got on the course to do an NVQ1.

We had to hand in assignments, that we had to have signed off, and complete several modules each year.

When I was on my last year, I specialized on kid’s photography. I had developed the idea of getting my very own studio, but for now I was working for “Photography – the Shot”, and put aside some money every month.

I had done a course on marketing, and had jumped at the opportunity of renting a small studio on Rivington Rd, in North London.

I smile, looking back. I still live in the South of London. I even caught a glimpse of Mark the other day, cycling past me with another woman.

Another one. A better one.

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