Places I Have Lived – part four


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.