On Friday evening my the apartment became a meeting place. Not that I was such a good host but because I had an own bathroom. Most of our friends lived in student houses and they shared facilities that weren't very clean, especially the bathrooms.
As I had my own bathroom one of our girlfriends asked if she could use the bathroom to have a good bath on Friday evening. Once the rumor spread that my bathroom was available and reasonable clean, more friends asked if they could use this bathroom. This way the tradition of the Friday bath evening started. Especially the female friends were happy with this tradition.
We ate together and played games like Chess, Risk and Buccaneer, and of course we had long discussions. I didn't have a TV. The whole evening we drank endless cups of tea. During these activities there was continue someone having a bath. Every Friday we ate the same food. We started with instant chicken soup from a packet, then we had baked beans in tomato sauce with toasted bread and butter. The dessert was an instant pudding out of packet mixed with milk, most often banana flavor. I only had a one pit cooker, therefore elaborated meals for many people wasn't an option.
Barbara never joined these evenings as she had to work on Friday. Friday was one of the busiest day in the fish and chip shop. They normally closed about midnight and then they had to clear up and clean everything. Barbara didn't go to bed till 3 am on Friday or Saturday night. Such a pity because Barbara would have really enjoyed those Friday evenings.
On Sunday afternoon we organized the typical English tradition of the Sunday afternoon roast. This took place in the house of Steve and Di (after Diana), our only friends who actually lived together. At the end of the afternoon we all came together. While the diner was prepared, we played games again. The diner was a typical English diner consisting of roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding (which didn't always work out well), roast lamb or roast turkey with mice sauce, and of course the peas and carrots. And again the discussions with lots of cups of tea.
This tradition we continued till 1980. When Barbara lived in Histon she could only join us when she found a good excuse to get away from home. When she lived in London, Barbara joined every sunday.
I think for most of us the bath evening and the Sunday roast was a substitute for the family life (none of our friends lived at home, Barbara was the only one).
We always had ridiculous discussion. I still remember topics like, can the milking machine for cows solve the toilet problems at pop concerts, or does God exist at -273 degrees Celsius, or why does Barbara ends her sentences with a elevated AA when she is getting excited (I saw that she also did it in the videos I have seen of her, I recognized it immediately when I heard it).
I still have the Sunday afternoon tradition with my family now. Everybody likes to join in but unfortunately nobody wants to cook, therefore we normally end up eating chips and drinking wine. The feeling is the same though.
(translated by Zhi)
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