Leaving Home

China garden interim course 9.12

A Scrabble chat with my friend June Brokas, about her daughter and my granddaughter going off to university, reminded me of the times Michael left home.  Ever a resourceful and determined young man, sometime around 1980, my eldest son bought a two up, two down, cottage in South Wimbledon and converted into two flats which he sold on.  With my nephew James, and a carpenter, he carried an RSJ up a spiral staircase they had fitted themselves.  He couldn’t afford a crane.  That is how his extremely successful building and decorating company, Able Assignments, began. If you need any suitable work done in or around South West London, check it out.

That was the commercial.  Now for Mike’s bid for independence.  His intention was to live in his newly acquired property while he and the lads carried out the conversion.  The first night he was back home.  There was no electricity.  Could he stay until it was turned on?  Of course he could.  It was only for a day or two.  When the supply was connected he returned to his adventure.  A few days later, there he was, on the doorstep, asking: ‘can I come back.  I can’t live in that crap’.  Of course he could.  Stay, not live in that crap.  It was only for a few months.

On this gloomy Sunday morning, back in Morden, I walked down Morden Road to Staples to buy some more display files for Mum’s birthday project.  When I arrived they were closed.  It was still only 9.45.  You have to walk all the way round a large area of railing to get to the front door in order to read specific opening hours.  I could see the doors were shuttered and, rather than make this trip, I assumed they’d be open at 10.  I went on across the High Street, along Merton Road and Wimbledon Broadway as far as the railway station.  By this time the rain had set in, and, not having gone equipped, I boarded a 57 bus back to South Wimbledon, from where I walked back to Staples, which was still closed.  This time I read the notice which informed me that the store does not open on Sundays until 11 a.m., which was still 35 minutes away.  Now rather wet, I turned away, deciding there was no point in sheltering on a bus for the rest of the journey, which I made on foot.  A young Asian man, no better protected from the weather, looking at the shuttered doorway and the size of the establishment, asked me if it was a warehouse.  I said it was so big it looked like one, but it was a retail outlet, not open until 11.  He asked if there was anywhere he could wait, as it was important for him to buy whatever he had come for.  I directed him to a cafe, saying I could wait until tomorrow.  I arrived home before Staples would have opened.

Football training was being conducted in Abbey Recreation Ground on Morden Road.

We had a lazy afternoon on computers.  I played on-line Scrabble and Jackie browsed for plants suitable for the variable Firs soils. In the evening we dined at The China Garden.  The meals were, as usual, crisp and tasty.  I drank half a bottle of Chateau du Souzay Beaujolais-Villages 2011 and Jackie enjoyed a bottle of Tsingtao beer.  When we returned to Links Avenue we unloaded the bags we had been too tired last night to deal with.  The rain was hammering down.  Jackie had chosen the best possible three weeks for her holiday.

5 responses to “Leaving Home”

  1. […] It is fascinating that each of these boys grew to form their own individual construction firms. In ‘Leaving Home’, I tell the story of how James helped Michael with his first professional building project. As far […]

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