In 1984 I lived in a council flat in a dodgy little place called Shoreditch. As I was a baby at the time, my parents lived there too!
I have very fond memories of our time there; the neighbours, most of whom babysat me at one time or another; the lady next door with the Rottweilers and – for reasons only known to her and her family – a pet monkey; trying (and failing) to ride a bike in the hallway and, best of all, the parties! It seemed like every week friends and family would congregate at our flat and it would always turn in to a party. The sound system blaring, the flat packed full of people, alcohol, jokes…It was brilliant!
There were things that I was too young to notice at the time but that I found out about when I was older: the queue of people outside on the balcony waiting to buy drugs from the dude next door; or the fact that one of the kids my parents forbade me from hanging around with had fleas (that kid belonged to ‘Rottweiler woman’ who, I later found out to my eternal disgust, used to let the dog have her puppies on the fur coat that she always wore but never washed). I was protected from all of that nonsense and even though there were a few… shall we say, eccentric sorts in the area it was generally a safe and really friendly place. Continue reading