Easy As Falling Off a Bike pt 3140

The Daily Dormouse.
(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Part 3140
by Angharad

Copyright© 2017 Angharad

  
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This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
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I was asleep before Simon came up to bed, he was chatting with Julie and Phoebe about their new flat—I think they’re planning to move within the next two weeks. I haven’t had a chance to view it yet and apparently Simon told the girls to speak to me about organising the soft furnishings because I was a whiz at it. Like he’d know—duh. I’ll be delighted to help them if they ask me, but if they don’t that’s their affair. I’m not going to push myself into the girls flat and take over, if they want my help they must ask. I feel quite strongly about that, allowing independence to develop and it’s good for them to work out their own decorating plans and what curtains and carpets they want to go with them. Sure, I have ideas and some experience but I got it mostly the hard way, though my mum did give me a few lessons when I was younger.

I think Dad thought I was being taught the basics of housekeeping for when I went away to uni, but choosing carpets and curtains and altering the latter? I mean, you either stay at the university halls of residence or find your own accommodation outside the campus. Dad helped me towards the rent but I was left entirely on my own to find somewhere to stay.

The first place was very disappointing and the landlord kept wanting to up the rent for somewhere they should have condemned years before. Then I was invited to share a house with three girls I knew from my course. I think they thought I was gay because I didn’t go out with girls—I didn’t go out much with anyone—and as they all had steady boyfriends, I wasn’t seen as much of a threat to anyone.

What may be described as blowing my cover, was when one of the girls had her boyfriend stay over and they had a scrap and he wrecked her room including ripping down her curtains. We all helped tidy it up but she was distraught about the torn curtains—well how was I to know I was the only one who could sew? Thankfully the material had torn along one of the seams and when one of the others borrowed a sewing machine from another girl on our course, I got volunteered to repair the curtains. Fortunately, it went better than I expected but ever after they told me they considered me as one of the girls. I wasn’t sure if I felt it as a compliment or the ultimate put down.

So whenever something went wrong I got the job of sorting it. It was where I learned to expand my repertoire of cooking from the basics my mum had shown me. As cooking simple fare is mostly a matter of common sense, it didn’t prove to be rocket science.

Despite their integration of me, I didn’t feel confident enough to tell them the truth, so my little bag of female clothing didn’t get used unless I was in the house alone, which wasn’t often. Looking back, perhaps I should have told them, but with a further year to go, they could have made my life more difficult. The house became unavailable for the final year so I had to sign up for a room in a hall of residence and as it was a single, I did change there occasionally and consequently went out even less, but I did get a get a first, so I can’t really complain.

One of the girls, Heidi, I think it was, did write to me while I was newly transitioning at Portsmouth—apparently the word got out, like it does in a small world. She was quite sympathetic and said that on reflection she wasn’t really surprised and wished that I had told them as they may have been able to help me transition. In a way I’m glad I didn’t because I wouldn’t have coped with any pressure to transition while at Sussex and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be one of their projects—it was bad enough having Stella do it and I felt more comfortable with her direction than I should have done with my three housemates.

The next morning I was getting breakfasts for the girls prior to the school run when Julie asked me if I was busy that evening. “What did you have in mind?” I asked.

“We could do with some advice about soft furnishings, if you don’t mind?”

“What about lunch time, the light will be better?” I suggested and she said they could probably sneak three quarters of an hour. At least that way I could get a feel for the place and let my unconscious ferment some ideas. I made sure I had my iPad with me and I could take photos of each room they wanted me to help with.

The morning was mundanity exemplified and so bloody boring when I said I had to dash off for a meeting at lunchtime, Diana was very suspicious as she generally keeps my diary. Without saying anything more to enlighten her, I rushed off and grabbed some rolls at a Tesco metro en route to the salon. The girls were delighted with my choice of snack and Phoebe ran off to boil the kettle while Julie showed me around. They had already had a new bathroom and the kitchen had also been revamped. Both were, I think the word is, compact or bijou depending upon whether you read the Guardian or the Telegraph. However, they had a lovely sized lounge diner and two fair sized bedrooms. The latter were on the back of the house and would thus be quieter and overlooked an enclosed yard, which nowadays they’d call a courtyard. I suggested if they had it paved and some pot plants it would be okay to sit out in, in the summer like an enclosed patio—they seemed to like that idea.

It had potential and I took photos of every room from every angle I could. I already had some ideas. I also took measurements using Tom’s laser measure of each room and noted them. They looked at me as if I was from another planet. I wasn’t, I was simply going to draw a plan of the apartment and use it to help me show them some colour schemes. We ate our rolls and washed them down with a cuppa and then I had to dash back to hear a student’s defence in a case of apparent plagiarism. It’s something universities take very seriously and suggest in our student handbook that you should never show any coursework to a fellow student. You can discuss the ideas you have but not show them. Alas I’ve known some bright sparks who weren’t very street wise who were accused of the crime and only when they showed us their computers and the draft of the work, we were able to uncover the friend who’d asked them about the assignment, was the real culprit and they were sent down for attempting to misinform and mislead the university by deception and in claiming someone else’s work to be their own. I see it as a form of parasitism and tend to treat it quite severely. Oh the joys of office.

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