Musings on new friendship, Mill Road and a case of mistaken identity

Self-proclaimed ‘It Girl’ and carbohydrate-inclined ‘Chip Girl’ Yvette Bronwen-Garm offers a cautionary tale to you would-be socialites

Yvette Bronwen-Garm

Edge heaven Mill RoadKeith Edkins

Why isn’t Anita answering her doorbell?

An arse! There’s an arse in that window! A bare, white arse! Look how it shines in the sun! I duck down behind, or more honestly adjacent to, a nearby lamppost. “Anita got a man in there at last,” I chuckle to myself. Then I throw up a bit in my mouth, but I’m damn proud of my fresher friend.

It does put a spanner in the otherwise well-oiled works of our lunch date though, a bare-white-arse kind of spanner that’s liable to run this li’l sociable Subaru right off the road. No fear, though: men are notoriously quick at sex. I shall wait a while and see. My crocs honk in the heat as I pad back down the road to a nearby café. Not just any road though, dear reader. Where we’re going self-made memes like you and me don’t need roads. We’re at the road to end all roads, none of which, it turns out, turn out to roam very far.

It’s a miserably bright day in Easter Term, and I, Yvette Bronwen-Garm, am on the Mill Road. Oh yeah, that’s right. ‘The’ Mill Road. Not your square King’s Parade, King’s student, nor your tedious Trinity Street, foetid Trinitarian. No siree. I stand on holy ground, the prince of promenades, the Avril Lavigne of august avenues, advancing slowly towards my chosen destination. Here the coffee is cheap, the limp panini scarce, the veg paneer hot; the sinful conscience of the lazy student sleeps. Here might I stay and sing the praise of the cans in Nip In. Love is to the loveless shown in its squeaky aisles, which are forever England. But I’m running away with myself here. Let me explain.

I met Anita a week ago when I wandered down here to get myself some revision shoes. My Docs were falling to pieces, thanks to a meteorologically disorganised trip to Grantchester meadows one unusually overcast evening. Though perturbed by the apparent sunniness of the following day, I got myself these imitation proto-crocs for a hot £10 out of a kilo sale. They’re more like clogs actually, and slightly impractical (the leathery material makes a honking noise when I walk sometimes), but there’s nothing shameful about shoes for £10, friend-o. Even better, the lady working at the till of the kilo sale had a stack of children’s books next to her, so there was sufficient reading material for anyone. I handed over the shiny, slippy note while fingering stacks of Pippi Longstocking and Moomin sögur with glee. AH!

Waning lyrical on the joys of Pippi Longstocking (who is my favourite fictional character, bar Nino from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares), I happened upon Anita. She's somehow ended up living in the incredibly cool houses down Mill Road, despite being a fresher. Okay, so she’s actually doing a Masters in Engineering, but it’s her first year, and that still counts – once a fresher, always a fresher! As such, I showered her with praise on her awesome cane, which turned out to be a crutch.

I really thought Anita and I were going to be great friends. We both like Pippi Longstocking and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

Anita had broken a leg while attempting to climb a mountain in Wales. Notwithstanding this auxillary accessory, her mobility remained unhampered as we walked up the road back to her flat. I asked her how she managed to do any revision at this time of year and she said she was really counting on getting a PhD place next year. This lowered the tone, but I persisted. I asked if I could meet her housemates and she said we could all go out for lunch next week! I actually had a supervision booked at this time but I cancelled it. Some things, dear reader, are more important than work.

I really thought Anita and I were going to be great friends. We both like Pippi Longstocking and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. She even asked how I make my hair look like it does. Over the years, many people have commented on the exceptional effervescence of my follicular structures; I attribute my trademark ‘bedhead bouffant’ to the liberal application of sleep and a daily glaze of crème du tête (that’s shampoo to you and me). In retrospect her tone was one more of fascination than admiration, but I can’t be held responsible for the eventual éblouissement associated with the frizz. And as Thomas Harris says, “nobody beats the frizz”.


Mountain View

How to survive Easter Term: On the lookout for love

But it seems Anita would prefer to have sex. On the ground floor of her house. With a broken leg. Aren’t you disgusted at the shabby state of society today, dear reader?

So after my coffee, I turned on my heels and trudged severely homewise. My heart was light but the squelch of my shoes betrayed the metaphorical quicksand of melancholy through which I sauntered. So noisy were the sounds of my steps I didn’t notice my phone beeping for the first ten minutes of the trip.

‘Lol arent you coming over?’, Anita had written.

I furiously typed: ’I think, madam, you have far more pressing matters occupying you!’

She responded ‘?’.

Typical. In the heat of rage I misspelled my retort. ‘The NAKED MON IN YOUR KITCHEN?’

There was a pregnant pause. ‘wtf? you’re so odd’.

It was only then I remembered that I might have been standing outside the wrong house. But never mind. A friend is lost, for sure. But I’ll always have the Mill Road. In its sweet aromas and lack of bends, I all my days could gladly spend.