Greetings ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the first weekly installment of Diary of a Second Year. After the madness of halls (Montefiore to be exact) I have decided to lend my experiences of living in a shared house to you, the public. As those of you who have experienced halls will know, the people you are lumped with in your tiny flats will either become your best friends, casual acquaintances, or the weird kid you continually try to avoid for fear of awkward conversations about his love of the secret areas in World of Warcraft. And if you did not end up with any of these people, then, sorry to break it to you, but you probably were that weird kid.
I myself ended up with a close group of friends, and luckily for them, they decided to live with me and unwittingly take part in my small exploration into human behaviour. I am not expecting the results to be published in any psychological journal (God forbid, I don’t think the brightest minds could work out the behaviour of my housemates) but I do hope the stories will give you that little bit of light relief on a rainy day. That, and persuade you to spend that little bit of extra time looking for house mates that won’t cause you the hassle that mine do.
Let me introduce you to the gang. For the sake of my friends’ dignity, I will be using aliases:
Johnny Foreigner– Alas, not named after the post-punk band from Birmingham, rather because Johnny emigrated from Poland to East London when he was seven years old. Thirteen years and a thick dosing of ‘Landan’ culture later, he stepped into my life. Known for his catchphrase ‘OH MY GOD!’, which is uttered every time the world slights him in some way- apparently every five minutes. A committed gym freak, he is studying Geology, presumably in order to study the weaknesses of the rocks, so he can learn to be harder than them.
Worzel Gummidge– The token country boy of the house. Named after the country’s favourite scarecrow not just for his tall and skinny physique, but because Worzel would happily stand in a field all day if he could, just to be close to nature. Studying Environmental Science (predictably), and has been known to decry Aldi for its fishing practices. Before buying the fish and declaring ‘I’m a student, it’s cheap.’
Charlie Davies: Charlie is as mockney as they come, hence his pseudonym’s relation to those stalwarts of London culture, Chaz ‘n’ Dave. Charlie tries to maintain a working-class decorum about his life through his continued support of the Labour party and use of a faux-cockney accent. All this despite the fact he spent his formative years at a prestigious boys’ school, and holds a penchant for performing in a travelling theatre group. Studying History and Politics, no doubt in preparation for his grand plan to become Prime Minister, and complete his remarkable ‘rags to riches’ tale.
Barbie Anderson: Named after the two most famous blondes in the world, Barbie combines intellect with airheaded-ness, to an almost impossible degree. While not actually blonde, the comments uttered by Barbie would put even Chantelle Houghton to shame. With a bordering-on-stalking obsession for Peter André, Barbie studies Anthropology, no doubt to gain an insight into how real humans communicate.
Ginger Rogers: Unfortunately for this girl, the only reason she is being compared to Fred Astaire’s famous dance partner is for her flaming locks of curly hair. Ginger’s preferred dance moves are to sway her upper body while waggling an index finger. An ardent drinker, Ginger’s nights often end up with her sleeping somewhere ridiculous, for instance, in a wardrobe. Studying Biomedical Science, which will no doubt come in handy when her liver inevitably succumbs to cirrhosis.
So there it is! My housemates. Next week will be the start of our yearlong adventure into the joys of a shared house.