Saturday 21st November
Number 12 – Glenmore House, Amhurst Road, Hackney. This was the pre-war GLC block described in some detail in “Catherine’s Story”. It had two bedrooms and a tiny kitchen and bathroom, but it was home. Justin and I spent about two and a half years here. It was a terribly rough estate and a grim area, but once you shut your front door it was okay. It was a long way from Justin’s nursery but I used to cycle there every morning and leave him at eight and collect him at 6 in the evening. Incidentally I was the only single father; all the other kids had single mothers. I really quite liked the flat. I painted it, and papered the walls with “Biba” wallpaper, I bought a large chesterfield sofa and a table and chairs and a handmade Norwegian rug from a craft shop. I can remember going into Woolies and buying a plate a week until I had a complete crockery set. Poor, but happy. I met ‘Joybells’ in the Hotel I was working in and we decided to live together – but somewhere nicer.
Number 13 – Towers Court, Ballards Lane, Finchley. We answered an advert in the Standard. It was a large three bed flat with a controlled rent. Only problem was that the guy who had the rent-book wanted key money, £3000. I got a bank loan and we moved in. This was a lovely area, and we had a large shared garden and a garage. The rent was cheap too and controlled, so could only rise with inflation. I lived here for more than ten years. Finchley was a million times better than Hackney and we had lots of middle-class friends. Laura was born and five years later Joy stupidly had an affair and when I confronted her, she left with him and my daughter. Disaster… but I survived. I had a couple of lodgers and my sister stayed with me for a while too. We had quite famous parties here too. Anyway, at one party I met Louise and before long we were an item. We decided to buy a house together.