Tuesday 29 October 2013

Let me describe Ben's university room to you

Ben's university has two purpose-built large residence 'villages', constructed about 5 years ago on the site of the old 1960s tower-block halls of residence I was so familiar with in my student years. Ben lives in one of these 'villages', approximately 30-minutes walk from the university and on a regular bus route (although why 2 different bus companies have to run this single bus route is a crazy mystery to me, meaning that Ben's season ticket for free travel on First Buses isn't accepted by Stagecoach Buses...) Anyway, to Ben's room...

It's in a cluster block of 5, sharing a main kitchen / dining area with 5 other boys, although 2 of them - international students - seem to keep to their rooms most of the time. The other 3 "live on pork pies and pot noodles", according to Ben...

The block comprises 3 'standard' rooms with ensuite shower rooms, like the one Ben started off in last September but found so cell-like, and 2 'studio' rooms which are more spacious (and expensive!), with a bigger bathroom, a double bed, small kitchen sink with window above, fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster, food / utensils storage cupboard and 2-ring hob. So Ben, who is in a studio room, can either cook in his room or in the main kitchen / diner with its bigger cooker, 2 large fridges and 2 large freezers.

Ben's room is on a corner, so it has two windows, which means that when the sun is shining the room is sunny and bright for most of the day. If you look directly out of the main window, just betwen two other apartment blocks is a gap which leads the eye up onto wild moorland. (Just.) On misty or rainy days, this view disappears.

The hilly area surrounding the student 'village' is what would have been the city's genteel residential area in the 19th century - large stone houses built by the city's wealthier industrialists and commercial businessmen, now offices, residential houses and apartments, university accommodation and buildings, a couple of independent schools, a huge state school, an elegant 19th century park, churches, the other student 'village' and lots and lots of trees.

Between the residences and the university is an area comprising shops, cafes, restaurants, small supermarkets, pubs and bars.

Back at the residences, Ben's room is cosy and warm, and new - and, when I've been there, immaculately clean and tidy, especially the kitchen area, which is more than can be said for how he leaves the kitchen at home.


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