Like someone took a knife and drove it deep in my heart

I really like Cher.  She has had a long career with a variety of music, starting with I Got You Babe, going through the Disco 70s, soft rock 80s and EDM 90s.  She has survived an abusive husband, had a hugely successful TV career and a film career that includes an Oscar for Moonstruck.  It is almost like she was Madonna, only better.

Probably her most famous video was found her dressed like this – bold.

In any pub that had a video jukebox this tended to get played a lot.  There was one very near the first house I lived in when I moved to London.  John Major’s government was privatising the railways and Stratford station was going to be closed for years while it was developed.  This would add time to my journey as I would either have to change three times or go all the way into the city and back out to Plaistow (costing an extra £50 a month as well).  I decided that I would be better off living in London at the week and going back to Brightlingsea at the weekend.  One of the other staff at the college, Nikki, lived in a house of multiple occupancy and had a vacancy.  I had no idea about the area and took the chance to move in.

The metal gate on the front door is an addition and the front door itself have changed since my time.

I chose the day to move down, the same day as my brother and his family moved house, so it was a low key departure, and it turned out to be the day of West Ham’s last home game of the season.  I realised that on the days of home games it was impossible to park within a mile of the ground.  I was horrified when I realised this as it was 3pm and, potentially ,what I would have to do is drive somewhere, park and wait with my car as it was patently full of stealable gear.  Fortunately, one of the neighbours drove off and before his wife could block the space with bins I parked up.  She looked at me like I was a major criminal.

West Ham games were a constant problem.  I could not drive to work when there were weekday matches as I would not be able to park coming home.  Saturday afternoons needed fine judgement.  I was late leaving one day and it took me an hour to drive half a mile as the fans came out.

In the three years That I lived there there the house was burgled twice.  The first time a couple of druggies took the microwave (far more expensive in those days).  They were actually caught by the police and I had to go to court to testify.  I sat around at Snaresbrook for a day and was then told that the case had been moved to the next day – I was unhappy as I had to take time off work.  The police told me to say I would be there to the other side’s barrister – they entered a guilty plea.

The second time they smashed the windows by the front door – a massive security weakness, which is why they probably have a metal gate now.  They took a few valuables and I learnt how slimy insurance companies could be.  It really doesn’t matter what is stolen it is the invasion of privacy that freaks you out.

The landlord was renting the house out while he worked in Hong Kong.  He left its care to a friend of his who lived in East London, no landlord services here.  We had to pay bills for repairs and deduct them from the rent.  He never queried any deductions.  After I left I think he sold it.

I was not sorry to see the back of that house.  Nikki moved to Leyton and then to Devon, where she seems incredibly happy.

If I Could Turn Back Time

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