I borrowed a van and went to this flat in Ham. Ham is a nice village about 20 miles outside London. It took an hour and a half to get in to college. It was impossible. The flat was owned by a pensioner who washed her dog in the bath and left the pet hairs there. The sheets were brushed nylon. It was awful.
I forgot my key one night and had to wait until 12.30 pm on the step until she arrived. I saw and advert on a noticeboard for a person to share a flat in Acton. I applied and was accepted by the other 3 guys who also were doing courses at Imperial. I took the day off and shifted all my stuff on my push bike. At long last I had somewhere I could actually sleep.
The guys were friendly and I went to parties, worked and generally had a good time. I used my push bike for around 2 weeks to get in and out of college. In those 2 weeks a car reversed into me as I rode, I nearly got killed by a car and I got warned by a policeman for being drunk in charge of a bike. I decided life was too short and caught the tube like everyone else.
This was the height of the IRA bombing campaign. Acton was known as an Irish area and several bombs were thrown by the Brits into the Irish pubs.
The summer hols started and I got myself a job as a lorry driver. I turned up for work on the Monday and my job was to drive a 3 ton truck carrying ladders into Birmingham. I'd never driven anything bigger than a car in my life. The thing was flipping huge.
I drove into Birmingham, got lost and then eventually delivered my cargo. I returned and did the same again. That was the days work done. I was down the pub that night when my friends said that they didn't think I could drive such big vehicles. I produced my driving licence to prove them wrong and to my horror, it turned out they were right. I had spent a day driving illegally. No one had checked. I resigned at 8.00am the next morning. I then went to work for the family firm on the Arboretum illuminations before heading back down to London for the final stint at Imperial University again.