The Man In Room A14

It’s been twenty years. At least, around that. Not sure exactly. I didn’t keep a diary, and as I keep pointing out to great disappointment to others, there are very few photos of that time, but I think either this weekend or last weekend was my final weekend of living in Manchester. At the end of the first and second years, I rushed home as soon as I possibly could, sometimes literally the day of my final exam. In the last year, I hung around for as long as I could, knowing that this was a big ending. Some of my friends that I made during that time I haven’t seen since the day I left.

St. Anselm Hall is now co-ed (though apparently it was the last hold-out of university halls in the entire country, which says…something), but still apparently has formal dinner. The thing about it is that we laughed at the Oxford-lite grasping at the time (the ‘JCR’ was an anteroom, the ‘SCR’ simply a normal room with delusions upon its station), and I’m sure everybody else who stayed there throughout the decades did too. But I did stay there for three years, in the exact same room, so it had its merits, even if when I tell people about it now they expect me to talk about a Sorting Hat1.

It often feels like yesterday. But more often these days, it seems like a different world and a completely different person. At least I eventually managed to sort out half-decent looking glasses for me. It might have been better if I had got that down before I left home mind you…

(come back in August for the second part of this tale, where I point out that the entire course of my life post-2000 was decided by Dawson’s Creek of all things. Plus! Muppets! In Space!)


  1. The Sorting Hat is obviously cancelled. [return]