‘Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.’
At twelve I was living in what I thought would have been my only home until I went to Uni. It was a top floor flat on a council estate in South-West London. Part of me hated living there. It wasn’t that the conditions were bad, or I felt my life was in danger. I just felt out of place compared to my main friends at school who all lived in houses. There were a group of us who got the bus home together who all lived on the two main estates in the area. I guess I was used to how in primary school everyone lived on the estate, or one of the neighbouring roads.
At the time I shared a bedroom with my younger brother, our beds being the old ones we had from the bunk beds just dismantled. The bright yellow and funky orange statement wall, the pigeon holed storage unit my dad made. The bottom of it being a huge chest filled with all our toys. The blue and green IKEA rug that acted as a passageway between our beds, and an invisible dividing line between my side and my brother’s side when we had fought. Man did we fight! We did have our PS1 to keep us entertained, and the old NTL pace box, which must have been when freeview had just first started out.
One great thing was the Heath. Running parallel to the main road it was somewhere that always inspired me. Waiting at the bus stop every morning I would just stare into woods. I loved how over the seasons it would changed. How after the February half term you would walk back to the bus stop for school and hey presto the trees were covered in their leaves. Or how during the autumn and winter you would get dense fog, which I nicknamed the ‘fog monster’. Then used said name in my University interview! It was that heath and the view out of my window (main image in the banner, from my new room when I was older) that inspired me to study the environment. Something people didn’t understand growing up in concrete London. But my London wasn’t just concrete, it was surrounded by trees, parks and commons.
Being five floors up the view outside was amazing. I didn’t have to go outside to watch the fireworks. I would just sit on the windowsill and admire the view. Plus there would always be someone from the park across the road putting on a show. From my room you could see the warning light of Canary Wharf twinkle even though we were 11 miles away. The only bitter problem was the housing you could see from that window. The private estate that I wished we lived in instead. With their beautiful gardens and communal tennis courts. I always found it interesting the juxtaposition of wealth in London, the very rich next to working class.
It’s crazy to think that was nearly a decade ago. How times have changed.