I used to live in Stoke Newington Church Street
with a friend and we paid a paltry weekly amount; I’m talking around a fiver a week. Because I was the newcomer to the abode I had the bigger room. This may seem strange, but this was the room with a hole in the ceiling, which for most of the time wasn’t a problem. When the heavens opened it was a different story altogether. During the winter it was cold though; very cold, bone numbingly cold. I can remember sleeping in a balaclava gloves and a scarf. This was because the flat faced the open expanse of
, to the sounds of the animals that lived there in the menagerie of British wildlife. The bright sunshine streamed through my window on a summers morning which was great as I could waken with the rays of the sun invigorating me for the day ahead. Clissold Park
I feel for you
once in a lifetime
Stay a little while child
a couple of songs from those times
But back to the winter; when the waters came through my ceiling the only thing I could do was move my bed to the corner of the room, place a bucket underneath it and hope for the best. The rain and cold aside, my experience of sharing this flat with my friend (who remains close to this day) was a great one. We had everything we needed; a local pub, The Rose & Crown, a mere one hundred paces away, a launderette where a cheerful attendant would do our service washes, an excellent local Indian Restaurant Rice & Spice, the park opposite and a lovely main stretch in Stoke Newington Church Street. Highbury Stadium was also a ten minute walk away so what more could I ask for?
As an Islington boy this was all new to me. Of course I had been al over
to parties, girls’ houses and such but living out of borough took some adjustment. It was from this flat that I traveled to and from numerous jobs that took me from London West Hampstead to Roseberry Avenue and from Holloway to The West End. This was done by bike for the most part and I often am in awe of my younger self at being able to ride across North London on a regular basis. Then there was the number 73 Bus; not as good as the immortal number 19 but it could get me from my flat to The Angel and the West End in rapid time.
My friend and I soon found, what I guess you would call, life partners; he is still with his missus, and I have been wed and unwed and all points in between.
I often recall those heady days in Stoke Newington and there is many a tale to be told, which I may go into at some other time. What came out of it were some good life experience and a long term friendship along with a lot of fun, laughter and good times. As I said before “what more could I have asked for?”