Year Abroad Diaries: 23 August 2012

C’s exams are now a recent nightmare, and since then I’ve not written or read anything.  We’ve adopted the happy couple cliche and haven’t spent a minute apart.

Our few days together would have been sugary, but as always there’s a stressful exterior to crack first. Wednesday saw the big move from West End to City Centre. We analysed what was already in the new building,  zoomed to Tesco to buy provisions, dumped that stuff, then went to Park Circus to collect the cardboard lorries from C’s dad. It amounted to two carloads of tat. By ten o’clock,  the larger bedroom had been redecorated in a brown box style, and dinner was on the cards. Stir fry, wine and candles became cardboard,  bin bags and clothing, midnight, then one o’clock,  then duvet.

I blinked prematurely in an unrecognisable room. The sun had lit the streets long ago. The flat was silent in the early morning grogginess. Out of nowhere a thought popped into my brain and my mouth threw out: “What about your car!” It wasn’t a question. He’d placed it in a 6pm – 8am free zone. Parking was prohibited during peak times,  and the sound of rush hour traffic rising to the window didn’t seem promising.

“Sh*t” three times, on repeat. C discarded the duvet, running to the bay window in the living room where he had a clear view to the street below.

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“It’s not there, sh*t!” Panicked laps of the room like an agitated guinea pig; phone call to his dad, then my Mother who provided the contact of the Impound Enemies she’d made a few years back. Confirmation. Black Fiat, Located.

By that time, I’d fired up the toaster to console C with multiple wedges of Hovis and lashings of jam.

Afterwards, we walked to the city centre to hail a taxi to transport us to the impound.  It cost C £180 to reclaim his car (when I pass my permit, remind me to park in a safe place.) Back in the Fiat, about to turn on the radio but prevented by a rant on the injustice of modern society, we eventually rolled alongside the People’s Palace. Highlights included models on tenement life, and the bar of Chelsea Whopper (dusty sweet cocoa fudge.) So cultured.

I’m organising myself too, packing memories into the portable part of my brain,  taking little things with me. And for the bits I can’t remember, there’s Snapfish. Keyrings, cards, posters, photo books, coasters… I think I’ll create some for the Parents, and the Grandparents,  and C, before I leave. It would be a nice memento to remember each other by whilst I’m gone.

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