When I moved to the UK it was the first time living on my own. I adapted quite well to my independence although I missed my family like crazy. I went there just for the experience of living in another country, granted it was no great culture shock neither was it exotic but it was familiar ground as I had visited there many times before and it was right in the middle of the uk so if I did gain employment from anywhere else in the uk it Leicester was a good centrepoint of travel.
The first place I lived in was owned by a spectacularly oddly matched couple; Rash and Rose (sounds like a dubious adult DVD), Rash was a thirtysomething lapsed sheik who suffered from some form of polio as a child which hardened him up and was a tough geezer to most but still he had a heart of gold underneath it all, Rose was a walking welsh full time mood swinging lady who I would class as an 'aggressive pacifist' yknow sugar coating her conversations and comments without outwardly portraying the true bitch she was. Anyway the house they owned was in a leafy suburb of Leicester - huge house that boasted about 15 converted ensuite rooms (it used to be a 'hotel') and there were people of all nationalities who moved in all at the one time as it was the couples first foray into the world of landlording capitalism. Every evening most of us would congregate into the aircraft hanger sized living room and just basically abuse our livers. Over the next six months some people moved out what with moving to new cities where their work would take them, Rash and Rose lived in on the ground floor out in the back but they came up every evening to take a drink with us and have a laugh. The fine line between tenant and landlord was crossed and too many comments where made with a couple of people which resulted in a clutch of moving. I did not like the place anymore and it began to feel like I was living with watchful parents. So I moved out with 3 others , Annemarie got her own place and with the other two David, Clare and I moved into a flat. After 8 months of living there their relationship soured and I moved out to a house with Anne Maire (confused? I promise you Ill get to the point of this post)
Now Annemarie was someone who I lived with out of necessity not choice. She was a little bohemian which I liked but she was not the most tidiest of women and scarily she looked like Rose West the serial killer. When I was living in Rash's a clutch of us decided to go to a comedy club together while where waiting on Annemarie to get ready in her room and clare wanted to know where the bin was, surveying the geography and judging by the faint smell I reckoned we where sitting in it. The alarm bell soon rang in me from me thinking she was one unorganised and devil may care bint to when I witnessed her openly cannon balling in the car park of the venue as one nasty habited mare (cannon balling - a phenomena that some men indulge in ie holding down one nostril and projecting pressure to the other to 'clear the tubes' without the aid of cotton or tissue). Like it or not I couldnt afford to live with anyone else so I searched for a place and moved in with the baglady.
There was no washing machine in the house so every sunday Id take the five minute walk to the laundrette and do my sack of laundry. she never really came along to do her own and it would be more like once every 3 months- her bedclothes (which turned from peach to grey) didnt leave her bed for about 7 months and could have easily been used as partitions if needed be.Her Socks looked like plywood on the floor and there was puddles of stain clothes and knickers about the place.There was a joke between my boyfriend and I that there was more skid marks in her room then there was in Le Mans race track (Ewwwh I hear you say but the old saying within every jest lies a grain of truth) It got bad though when my chap started to wince at the idea that he was sharing the same bath as she (which she would take once a week despite there being no shower)
Still all in all I like to see the good in everyone and we had some laughs in the time we did house share. She was a media teacher but she set about a course so she could train to teach English in the Gambia when I was nearing the end of my time in the UK. Determined not to leave all my worldly possesions behind me I decided to drag them back to Ireland on several trips at a time (due to financial restrictions)On the morning of one such trip Anne marie was due to go away on a two week training course also. I emptied the fridge of milk and all other things that I thought would spoil but checked with annemarie if she wanted to dispose of her open can of tuna and sliced ham - she said she would deal with it herself so off I went.
I came back to Leicester a day or two earlier than I had planned. When I opened the door a mountain of Junk mail lay on the floor in the hall - grand I thought , no one home. I went upstairs to open the windows and air the place as it was smelling a bit musty. Nothing and I mean Nothing prepared me for what I was about to discover. We lived in an old victorian terrace house, the upstairs branched one room (the chamber of filth) to the right and to the left was a narrow corridor with my room the bathroom and the spare room respectively. I went into my room and the air stank of like a group of winos had defecated and vomited in there. What was that smell?? Did something crawl in and die when I was gone?? Was someone murdered in here and the smell only permeating now through the floorboards or walls? The smell seemed to seep from the bathroom. Given the hindsight I should have opened the door with a yardstick when wearing a biohazard suit but alas it was not meant to be. It looked like a prisoner had made a 'dirty protest in there.The toilet and the bath looked liked it had been sprayed with excreta and vomit. The smell would have gagged a tramp. I could not believe it, I checked all the rooms thinking someone had broken in and seen nothing of value and decided to violate the john for vengeance. I quickly availed of every detergent, bleach and airfreshner I had, within five minutes of the discovery every room had incense belching out of all corners. It seemed that some pungent beast had been unleashed when I opened the door. I really could not understand or comprehend that someone one, and forgive me for sounding sexist, but possibly some woman had left that kind of filth behind them. It had been there for sometime due to its stubbornness of shifting when I cleaned it, kettles of scalding water where used to 'breakdown' the dried in waste.
How could someone lack such a sense of civility never mind self respect
Later that night I was in my room tinkering with my computer trying to get my mind off the days events when I heard the door key turn. It was Annemarie and she was not alone , her elderly parents where in tow too. I was too incandescent with rage to go down and see her so I decided it best to stay where I was. Her parents left about an hour later and I went downstairs.
She lay on the sofa like a diva. A hospital plastic bracelet hung around her wrist ( I thought 'you might not want to take that off too soon you might be needing in the next 10 minutes') 'Hi darling how was ireland' 'Clean' I replied through gritted teeth to which was swiftly followed with ' what the fuck went on here when I was away' she then proceeded to tell me that she had got back early from her course and ate the tuna and ham that was left in the fridge (I wouldnt mind the ham was beginning to look like an insole when I left god only knows what it looked like when she got at it) and got a touch of toxic poisoning and she was lucky she did not get botulism. She said she had to get an ambulance for herself and could not clean herself up or the bathroom she was in that bad of a way.I pointed out that she had no cell phone, the phone in the house had been disconnected over a week and yet she could drag her septic arse to a call box but left her filth behind her?? She could not answer that one except use the feminine get out clause of using crocodile tears and saying 'you dont know what Ive been through'. Pardon the pun but it wouldn't wash with me. She was cheap - too cheap to buy fresh food and in return she suffered. But one of the greatest mysteries to me was how a strain of bacteria managed to find the chink in her armour.???
The general filth she surrounded herself should have given her an immune system that you would only find in a secret government laboratory. There were more incidents of her general vileness but I guess the funniest one was went we both walked home from the supermarket down the road from us. We stopped at traffic lights and she openly started scratching her 'bits' like a guy while waiting for the lights to turn red when a burly bloke shouted out from his van 'stop that you filthy mare'! I nearly killed myself with the traffic leaping away in dissociation.