The Sun And The Cold
A friend had bought a house and two rooms were available to rent. Rog took one room and I got the other. Boredom mounted at work, but I was lucky to be earning, given the lack of work in the local area. Summer holidays abroad with my mates offered some light relief from everyday life.
During a holiday in France, I took a train to Spain for a day trip with a girl I’d just met. On the way back to France, I was arrested at the border and taken to a windowless room at gunpoint. I was checked against a portfolio of skinhead photographs and released when they ascertained that I wasn’t a deserter from the French Foreign Legion.
On another holiday, Rog and I went to France and received complaints about rowdy behaviour so we travelled to Spain. On arrival, we went to a nice little bar and sat at a table outside. Rog, the linguistic impresario, ordered the drinks. “Dos beers s’il vous plait,” he cheerfully announced to the waiter. Three languages in so few words. We laughed. The waiter didn’t.
My mates and I spent time at weekends surfing by a local coastal town. There were surf boards and wet suits for hire on the beach and I learnt how to stand up and even control the board a bit. Given this was the North East of England, it was less tans and sunshine, and more grey waves and numbness. But we had kind of a cool time. My friends and I got up early on Saturday mornings, drove to the beach and surfed by the looming cliffs and rickety pier until the freezing water got the better of us. Getting changed in the car park was all goose bumps and shivers until the waterproof jackets and woolly hats went on. Then it was back home for a shower and the obligatory night out.