I’ve never actually lived in Delaware. When I was 16 I ran away with my American boyfriend for a summer holiday, and he took me Dover. I don’t remember much other than it being really flat with endless sandy beaches and strip malls.
While we were there we stayed with the parents of his ex-girlfriend. How strange is that? They took us out for dinner one night – and before we went, the father of the house plied us with alcohol. Grasshoppers to be exact: Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao. At the restaurant I had more grasshoppers. I don’t know how many I had. I just remember they tasted like peppermint patties and I loved them! Why I was being given alcohol at age 16 I don’t know. I just remember really liking those drinkable peppermint patties. And you know, I don’t think I’ve had one since!
This is the nym I’ve given the flats I shared with crazies! There was one exceptionally strange individual in Barcelona. He was a meditation teacher and telephone sales guy from Ecuador. Odd combination that, though I suppose one balanced the other.
He was also a fanatical vegetarian who cooked amazing Indian curries, which he always shared. We had a 3-bedroom flat near Parc MontJuic. My bedroom overlooked a courtyard, and everyday when I left the flat the first thing I saw was a wall of lush, green ivy. It was so nice to see that greenery in a city where I’d grown accustomed to looking at concrete!
But when I say fanatical vegetarian, I mean it. That guy completely flipped out when I opened a can of tuna to put on my salad. He placed his enormous hands round my neck and threatened: “It’s a good thing you’re not a man because if you were I’d strangle you and throw you off that balcony for killing that poor helpless little fish!” I’d never thought of tuna as little, but I moved out that night just the same! There were other Dragons’ Dens, but I’m only writing 500 words so….
I racked my brain for this one. I’ve never lived in a slum, though there was the 1-bed flat when I first moved to Montreal that had a hole-in-the wall kitchen, but a decent bathroom. I guess I never lived in a real dump till Brighton. The first flat I had here, had a plugged toilet, no hot water, a broken washing machine, an electric hob that gave me a shock whenever I used it and a maintenance guy who my friend Louise Halvardson described perfectly in her poem “The Landord’. When I heard it, I asked who her landlord was. Nope, not the same one! Oh dear, that means there’s more than one!