Delaware, Dragon’s Dens and Dumps!

A view of the beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delawar...
A view of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Image via Wikipedia.


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!

La Merce Festival in Barcelona opens with a dragon parade!

Dragons’ Dens

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….

Every cloud has a silver lining! The flat on Vallance Gardens was a real dump, but it had this magnificent ornamental cherry growing in my kitchen window - complete with broken hinges!


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!

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