The Place

I hadn’t referred to our house-share as `The Place` before, but I like contemporary dance, and the location of this wonderful dance studio in the vicinity of Bloomsbury, near the British Library and Euston Station.
How did people get admitted to this weired and wonderful house-share, that served as a welcome break away from the hustle and bustle of London?
We had a living-room, and a table of dark wood that added to the atmosphere of this semi-detached house in Stockwell. The paintings on the walls of this very special place had been painted by none other than my house-share-friends.
We had a front- and a back-garden, a Polish neighbour on one side, and Jeremy on the other side, who painted too.
I once went to the studio where Pete first painted. It was situated on the Loughborough Rd in Brixton. A dark place. What’s wrong with lighting? However, he mooved to a different artist’s workshop, splashes of paint all over, like the make-up of a dancer after a night on the town.
The saucepans in the kitchen were enormous. Good for making curry for ten people, and for having friends round for tea. One of our friends brought rosé-wine for tea, another brought walnut-cake. We sat at table for an eternity, or so it seemed.
It was night, the stars were already peeping through the clouds, and we were left with the washing-up. Thank God I had bought a washing-mashine, that we called Morris.
I had gone to Sicily for a holiday, and brought back a plastic bottle of capers in salt, that we used for the cooking, and Sylvia had returned from India, and brought a colourful map of different regions of India, that we put up in the upstairs loo with sellotape.
Somebody must have bought a bad-luck-floor-cleaning-bottle from the little magician’s shop in Brixton, because I was so happy for the seven years that I called The Place my abode, that I splashed my dressing whenever tossing a salad in the salad-dryer that turns and turns like in the song `20 Fans Are Turning`.
However, after the seven years had passed, luck changed to misfortune, as I had left in order to live in Palermo for a year during my year abroad as prescribed by the Italian Department of University College London, where I had a fling with a naughty Siciliano, who I shacked up with for a few weeks, for reasons no other than rebound.
We had a folding table in our flat-share in Palermo, a television that was never switched off, and watched Formula One on television on Sundays. The palazzo’s kitchen looked out into the inner courtyard, and we had shutters on the outside of our rooms. We either cooked fish cous-cous, or got chicken at the local take-away, and served coffee in little cups whenever we had guests.
We shopped at the local fruit and veg market. At one occasion I had bought an entire bag full of artichokes, and we at at table, smoking, joking, while the artichokes were simmering away.
I’ve now returned from my studies abroad. I fry fish-fingers in my little kitchen, eat the whole batch at my table in my room and listen to Duran Duran while remembering the poster of the contemporary dancer in the nude in my turret room in London, and the poster of a flat-share-friend of mine in Palermo, which says beefcake.

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