7 years ago today we moved here to Hampshire from Brentford – this time 7 years ago we were eating a Chinese takeaway among the packing boxes and I was feeling very unsettled -we’d left all our friends behind and our lovely little house. However, we very soon settled here and made our mark on this house and I can say absolutely that I love being here.
Brentford always felt slightly scary in that I was terrified of burglars – it seemed much more likely that your house would be broken into there. The woman a few doors up was burgled shortly before we moved which was alarming as they’d got in by going down our shared alleyway. Each evening I’d go and check that the gate was locked.
When I first moved to Brentford I rather liked the edginess and run down- ness – coming from gentille and leafy Kew over the river,the council estates which flanked my new home made it feel more gritty and urban. I’d bought the house in Grosvenor Road with the help of my dad and my grandma and was relying on finding rent paying tenants to share it with me. I moved in with Tim, a recent graduate who worked for Oddbins and Susan, an Australian teacher – my grandma approved of Susan and referred to her as The Australian Schoolmistress. She might not have approved of the fact that Susan was having an affair with a married man. The tiny bedroom which became Theo’s nursery in years to come was occupied temporarily by my friend Jo who worked with me at Waterstone’s. Jo ended up marrying Tim in the end. We had a riotous party to celebrate our moving in (neighbours on either side declined our invitation saying they liked to keep to themselves). We had a very jolly time together- I was used to communal living having rented an attic room in a tall Victorian house previously. Things got sticky when Jo and Tim got together and when I met Graham Susan found a place of her own. Jo and Tim left together – they were,in my opinion ill suited and rowed a lot which I found very disturbing-I had to ask them to go and they weren’t very happy. Jo and I were estranged for several years because of this but happily we are now very firm friends. We shared briefly with Louise which was lovely and then with Catherine -both Waterstone’s friends (brilliant place for making friends). Catherine was wonderful and we were a jolly threesome-Graham having moved in about 6 months after we’d met. Eventually Cath moved out and it was just us two.