Tuesday, 10 February 2004

The Manor

Tonight will be my first night in my new residence, The Manor.

For those familiar with my life in Aberdeen, you will unavoidably be familiar with The Castle. The Castle was a mansion in the very remote North East coast, situated on the ruins on an 800 year old castle, with one ancient wall of the castle still dominating the landscape, plus a few Spanish Armada cannons in our garden. We were surrounded by cliffs, had two beaches, and it was best year of my life. It was the site of some amazing parties and a divine summer, and much of Aberdeen grew to know of The Castle, with the 4 (5 for a while) castlemates, their numerous cars and their uncountable tales of bad behaviour.

It's fair to say I'm still in recovery for that year. Psychologically and financially. My poor mother still gets debt collection agencies sending threatening letters to her door looking for me, for which I am very apologetic and my time in Korea is, as part of many things, hopefully going to resolve these debts.

That's the intention however, but if The Manor turns out to be anywhere near the legend of The Castle, then I dare not think of the peril I'll be in by the end of 2004.

The Manor is the name that myself and Matt have given to Kristi's apartment, whether she likes it or not (although I'm sure she will). During our weekend trip we were discussing it as eagerly as my M7 class discuss Stone Cold Steve Austin and the wrestling. It parallels the castle in a number of ways.

Mainly because it's a large residence quite far from the city centre, that's much larger than that of any of our friends', and like the castle is both divinely peaceful but also a potential location for great parties. Ok, it doesn't quite have the history of the castle as I bet it's barely 800 days let alone 800 years old, but the plus to this is that while it lacks Spanish cannons it does have hot water, heating, a videophone security system and no pinemartens in the loft.

So, tonight I go shopping with my two fellow Manormates and we drink some wine and eat some food for our first evening together in The Manor. I'm moving my hifi there, plus all my CDs, and during the visit to the DMZ, me and Matt bought three small oil paintings for the place (one for each of us) and a number of art posters. The Manor is to be tastefully decorated, and like The Castle, TV is banned from the main room. Daegu is a noisy and intense city and we want our residence to be far removed from that chaos.

Kristi hasn't 100% confirmed that she's keeping the Manor as she's keen to live somewhere closer to her school, but me and Matt have launched a major charm offensive (the focus on the offensive...) and we're very confident. This place is fabulous and there's no way we're letting an opportunity like this slip from our fingers. After living in one room bedsits for a couple of months, the prospect of living in a large and luxurious apartment is mouthwatering.

It looks to be exciting times ahead then. I expected my year in Korea to be in a pretty average, pokey little single room apartment. Now I'm about to get two flatmates of my choice in the sort of residence I'd count myself lucky to live in at age 45 after twenty years of hard work.

Drawbacks: Kristi likes yoga and Matt likes fitness, where I just like techno.

Oh, and if Kristi decides not to keep The Manor, then we and Matt are terminating our friendship with her and spreading hugely destructive and unfair rumours about her to everyone we know.

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