Thursday, March 10, 1983


A bright and sunny day that felt somehow heavy and oppressive. I’ve given up on my final essay for Miriam.

Miriam had invited her tutees around for an evening of free booze and food and so in the evening a group of us went into Watermouth, first to the Broadway Bar for cocktails, and then a long tramp down through Maynard Park, Wickbourne Road to Exeter Road, our destination.

It didn’t look too promising when we got there, just a quiet group standing around a table laden with half-empty plates of food, the house in a state of friendly and relaxed disarray, piles of books everywhere, a carpetless staircase. Gay skinhead Mark from our tutorial was there, plus a few others I recognised. Miriam, in a floppy purple hat, jeans and knee-length boots, was dancing with her lover.

We made a noisy entrance: no exaggeration to say that after this things livened up, with dancing and drinking aplenty. I'd brought a half-bottle of Bell’s which soon went, along with the numerous bottles of Miriam's wine. Needless to say, we all got very drunk. I remember sitting on the neighbour’s front steps, Pete telling me that Lindsey likes me and half frog-marching me back inside to talk to her, this all very dimly remembered . . . I questioned Pete again later but he was too drunk to focus.

We left and made our way back down a steep hill and across the dark grass of Maynard Park. I was lagging behind, and glanced round to see a policeman striding towards me, so I quickly sped up, but he accosted me and as we walked to catch up with the others he said he wanted to question us because “there have been a lot of burglaries around here recently.” Maybe I was the lookout. He took my name, along with Graeme and Gareth, and then searched us pretty thoroughly and radioed through to the ‘Main Cop’ while I gestured and made faces behind his back in drunken rebellion.

We were clean and after this he was quite friendly and thanked us for our patience. Shelley was in tears by this time so we climbed into taxis and sped homeward.

More revelry back at Wollstonecraft, a party winding down in the foyer, a few people still dancing. We joined in, dancing on the porter’s desk and leaping around the entrance hall in alcoholic abandon. I fell asleep on the floor in Stu’s doorway and Barry covered me in shaving foam and I retaliated. But no one was taking any notice because they were huddled around the fag machine, burning their way in, finally breaking doing so and scarfing twenty-plus packets of Rothman’s plus a similar number of Benson & Hedges, Forty-odd pounds worth in all.

We stacked the packets like gold bars in the bathroom and took a six-way cut. We had to 'buy' the silence of a couple upstairs with a couple of packets. I’m saving mine to sell.

I dreamed the police were searching my room for cigarettes as I feebly tried to hide them.

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