Just before leaving Paris it was confirmed that Clive has scored a job.
At The Bear Freehouse, Camberwell. This is located in South London. We spent a night at the same shit box of a room that we did before we flew out to Paris but the next day we would be moving into a room above the pub.
The Bear is usually a term for a gay night club or bar for large hairy gay men. Although Clive is large and hairy he isn’t gay. Well I hope not otherwise I have just invested 3.5 years with the wrong man!
Clive was placed on a week to week trial basis. His first shift he was sent upstairs to change, actually ordered by Sam, his boss. Clive was wearing nice pants, fancy shoes and a good dress shirt. Here you can wear thongs and t’shirt (or we are becoming accustomed to referring to them as ‘flip-flops’). The Bear serves a range of drinks but emphasises on its restaurant. A fantastic top chef, Olly works away with side kick Shaun delivering interesting and local seasonal produce based menus that change each day. Once you step inside the Bear off the grimy streets of Camberwell you are shocked that the environment and ambience it showcases.
Sam his boss is only 23 and has studied Multimedia and Graphic Design, quite the little artist! We also live with 3 other girls who are hot and cold. I put it down to the girls being younger and not fully experienced in share house living.
So Clive has been doing well at his new job and I spend a lot of time running, reading and cleaning. The upstairs has been partly renovated and apparently used to be a crack den. It smells like it too! But it is handy as Clive only has to go up and downstairs to get to and fro from work. I believe our room is the nicest smelling room and I would say Sam’s too, he is generally tidy (military background I think it is embedded).
We do have a futon for a bed which was broken when we got here, we are trying to get them to buy a new bed for us since it is a fully furnished rent thing. The girls pilfered all the good furniture before we got here).
Here we were all settled in and I remember getting a text message from Holly asking if we were ok. I had no idea what she was on about. She said there were riots, and we looked it up and they were in North London and I explained we were in the south.
The next day Clive and I went to head out to get some food at the supermarket. We were stopped and told not to head that way, riots were exploding! We wandered to the chips store nearby (first and last time, AWFUL). When we came back we followed it online and later we closed the pub because it was hitting too close to home. We are in Camberwell which is between Peckham and Brixton. The distance was under a mile either side of us.
It was a bit nerve racking. The alarm went off in the pub and everyone ran down the stairs (I didn’t, I took a bath whilst the world burnt) and they didn’t find anyone of anything. The only discovered the next morning that it was a smash and grab, just booze was taken and not even the good stuff. So we were in lock down for another day and kept following it online.
2 days after it died down Clive and I went to the movies in Brixton, we walked a really dodgy way there. We could see the damage the riots had. I still can’t believe they smashed in their own community and then they say its because we have no money and no jobs, well as if the local businesses can afford to employ anyone now! Riots of opportunists!
This was our first experience living in London.