Saturday, 5 July 2008

Home Sweet Home Three

I spent a year at college in Leicester in 1964/65. The government had decided it needed more full time leaders, to 'lead' the countries youth and I, amongst others fitted the bill. So in their wisdom they set up The National College for the Training of Youth Leaders, a grand title for a one year course housed in a disused Civil Defence centre. The course was varied, an education in itself to a somewhat naive village boy.
I lived in 'digs' so to speak, a 'semi' on the ring road with three other male trainee leaders. The living experience I remember for two things only. We were all untrained in domesticity in the extreme. We we constantly rushed for time, long individual ablusions in the morning were a disadvantageous to everyone. Thus the rule was that the toilet come bathroom was never to be locked to others, probably a typically male arrangement. Privacy was therefore non existent, a shock to the system of even the most thick skinned amongst us.
One other memory lingers on. If Henry, not his real name was in the building, anywhere in the place wherever, his presence was indicated by the strangest unfortunate obnoxious foot odour I have ever encountered, before or since. I have only to close my eyes, over forty years hence and I am reminded of Henry. Where are you now I wonder, not nearby or I would know, my son. My first real experience of living with others. The place therefore a house but not really a home.

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