Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Properties In Our Life (Part 1)

I am listening to a property programme whilst on the PC, and it pointed out an interesting idea. That properties are not just about value, but also plot significant events on your changing life.

And this got me thinking about Richard and I. And how luck played a big role in our choice of properties.

Property 1: Starting our life together

When we first got married, I was due to go to University in London whilst Richard was already in the Met - I was going to be a kept woman whilst I studied!!

One of the perks of being in the Police was the free (married or single) accommodation and so we ended up with a large three-bedroomed flat with a balcony and garden.

What was the catch? It was in East London - Clapton, near Hackney! Quite a jump for a girl who had only ever lived in a Hampshire village in the middle of nowhere!

I went from walking on my own along country lanes to get to the bus stop for my journey to school - to getting off the train at the top of our road, and making sure I was not followed or accosted as I walked briskly to our block of flats.

My instruction - if someone is shadowing you, pick up a rock or flowerpot and throw it through someone's window. They won't 'interfere' if you call for help - but they will always call the Police if their property is damaged!

Once inside, I had to remember that (as recognised Police accommodation) we were a potential target.

Setting up our first home together - we loved it and made it ours. And with wonderful parents who recognised a great opportunity to give us all their excess furniture, we were very comfortable!

Richard's Mum and Dad gave us a couple of garden troughs - and we planted our first ever flowers. Red tulips. They looked super on the balcony.

We had memorable Sundays, when Richard was not working. Put the roast in the oven on a timer, down the pub for some real ale, come back and enjoy our Sunday roast and then - SIESTA TIME!!

Some evenings we would go into London town for a meal and/or the cinema and spend hours wandering round the streets afterwards - London is wonderful and beautiful when most people are asleep. Safety, with Richard there, I took for granted.

I remember drunken evenings when my older sister and her husband came to stay - Una blew up one side of the double li-lo, and Mike rolled onto it and fell asleep, whilst she was left to blow up the other side for herself!!

I remember the nights when Richard was on duty - unknown people causing havoc in the stairwell of our flats. Frightening.

I remember sitting watching the Brixton riots on the news whilst clutching the emergency telephone number I had to call if Richard did not come home from his duty there when I expected him.

Those were the days......

Within a couple of years, luck played a part in our lives - read Part 2 tomorrow!
Whilst clearing out the back room for our party on Saturday, we came across a few of our old photo albums (most are still boxed up) so only found a few pictures of our first home together. We had very basic cameras then so the quality is appalling I am afraid!

Note the decor - it was already decorated when we moved in I hasten to add!

And who looked smart - going out to a Police 'do'. Shame about the fuzz?!

A news item on TV tonight reminded me of something I had forgotten. When a Police Officer wishes to get married, they can only do so if given permission by their employer. A check is carried out to confirm that the proposed partner is 'suitable'.

The children were very indignant - ardent feminists in the making I think!


Lesley said...

I remember the flat well! Steve and I visited only once, I think, but it was memorable!
We came with Lisa as a baby in a carry-cot, and you both had prepared a lovely meal. Unfortunately, you had a terrible tummy bug, and kept disappearing from the room!
Richard held the fort, and I remember feeling bad (afterwards)about suggesting that he check how you were - being an older sibling, I had not relinquished the protective role to him it seemed!

Looking forward to the next installment xx

Jacqui U said...

It is so funny what you start to remember, when looking at old photos.

You two had such a long journey to visit us as well. It was wonderful that you came!!