It is distressing but I am a little hazy about the details of when I moved to Dublin to study.Â I was only there for a couple of months and I thought it was cold, gloomy and dull.
This impression may have been reinforced by my accommodation.Â My friend and I had inveigled our way into a short term let by assuring the landlord that we were nurses (a profession which he appeared to regard as entirely trustworthy).Â The place where we were living had been inexpertly divided into flats.Â We had a main room which boasted a calor heater as its sole source of heat and a carpet as old as time.
We shared a bedroom which had no source of heating at all.Â It gets quite cold in Dublin in winter.Â We bought a portable heater.Â Despite the fact that it got quite warm (I accidentally melted my doc martin’s on it), the room remained arctic.
Our friendship was brought under severe strain by my friend’s chronic lateness.Â She was not an early riser and she could not get out of bed.Â We were on the same course and, the organisers, having made a very accurate assessment of the enthusiasm levels of trainee solicitors, kept an attendance register and, if you were late or did not attend, your master would be told and, worse, you would have to travel to Dublin to repeat the day.Â This made me extremely keen to get there on time.Â Every morning, F. would get up late as I paced up and down.Â Then while I stood whining in the doorway, she would painstakingly lace up her 18 hole doc’s.Â Then we would cycle like the wind and arrive, panting, just in time.
After those months together, I think we might both have liked a break but, unfortunately, we had already bought tickets to go interrailing together for a month which we did with almost no sulking except for that time when we were looking for the pantheon and I took us outside the city walls in Rome based on my expert powers of navigation.