I was sifting through some old photos and came across these pictures of two of my old bedrooms which I'm so glad I took as it brings all the memories from these times right back.
In 2005, after a dramatic and overdue relationship breakup in my third year of university, I found myself with nowhere to live, no one to live with and a forlorn and forgotten BSc to scrape together.
I took this tiny, cheap, yellow room in a little terraced house in Reading with a few shy second year biology students. I really loved it. The landlady was an eccentric Greek woman who always exclaimed how the rug I kept on my bed was 'full of love' (what was she implying!?) and the shower door (not in the bathroom) was literally a thin strip of plastic that you dragged across the front of the cubicle.
There was barely space for a single bed, the radiator wouldn't turn off and all
my stuff was crammed in around me which turned out to be really
comforting. I spent the whole winter sat in this room desperately
finishing my dissertation on dreaming and emerging at night to go out
drinking, dancing and meeting weirdos off the internet.
Our internet connection was sporadic so I used next door's and must have spent thousands of hours online throughout the rest of the year. From this room I endlessly MSN'd a huge array of intense and odd internet people, including the man who is now my partner and the father of my son. We used to chat until 5am when the sun came up, then I would get a couple of hours sleep and get up to go and sit a final third year exam that I hadn't revised properly for... which probably explains why I only got a 2:2. The rosy glow of youthful imbecility envelops me quite a lot.
One of my best school friends came down for a couple of months en route to Brighton from Coventry and we had a lot of fun drinking huge quantities of red wine and rampaging around the city.
The next picture is of a room I lived in for a year in 2006/2007.
After my degree I had no idea what to do so I moved back to my parents house in East Sussex, with a short detour on the Trans-Siberian Railway through St Petersburg, Moscow, Siberia, Mongolia and Beijing.
Living at home turned out to be as mind numbing as you'd expect so I rented a room in nearby Brighton purely because it had a wooden floor and one wall was the same colour as my previous room. I languished here with the wretched, omnipresent seagulls driving me mad and applied for every job in the city.
If you've ever lived in Brighton you will know that there absolutely no work there unless you like working for AMEX or being a call centre drone, neither of which I am suited to so I was unsurprisingly not successful.
I loathed Brighton despite having gone to Sixth Form College there, and although my aforementioned friend was here for a while, soon he had to move away again for work. My housemates didn't have a word to say to me or each other, I had no income until my dad decided to give me a job and it was in general just a pretty miserable time. However at least my room was beautiful and my walls were yellow.
Soon the Welsh guy I'd been talking to for a year manifested from the internet, came to visit me and shortly after that I decided to escape the South East and move to Wales. It was strangely sad leaving this room but it was definitely time to move on...