It was the street that I learned to roller-skate in. The street that I had to cross in order to get to school. The street that had 'hip-hop' sprayed on its pavement in 1986, just a few paving slabs away from the school's entrance, which inspired me to enforce a choreographed ritual upon Corina and myself that saw us pointing to our hips, and hopping, until we got into our seats in Mr. Burns' class.
It was also the street that was renowned for learner drivers and those having extra marital affairs in the area.
If you think about it, your criteria in order to execute either are exactly the same, apart from the fact that the affairs people had two cars between them and don't necessarily have to have great eyesight. The first of the couple would arrive and park up, and the one to arrive second was usually the one who got in the first one's car. I used to be so intrigued by all this affairs business as it was so new to me. I thought that people got married because they wanted to and stayed married because they wanted to. I mean. How silly. I think of Dacre Avenue now whenever I see L Plates on a hen night.
(We pronounced it as in 'acre' with a D on the front, not like the rum-based cocktail with more 'i's.)
Mr Burns was a non-practising Jew and my Mum quite fancied Freddie Mercury, so you can see why my mind was racing. It would've been a bit weird, though, if Mr Burns had driven over from the school opposite, and my Mum had started the car, driven two car-lengths, stopped, and got out and in with him.
This seems like a good point to insert a diary extract from that year. I only kept it until 13 March as after that, I didn't see the point in preserving the memory of life for a while because on 13 March, my cat, Holly, was run over in front of me by a light blue Beetle. I remember thinking that it was a cooler way to go than by an Escort or something. The driver kindly asked if he could take her to the vets, but we were just about to take Daniel Gamblin home after the swimming gala so we went straight to Goddard & Allen's after we dropped him off. I saw him over Upton Park a few years ago, but I didn't mention this incident. Holly coughed up blood all over my Dash tracksuit, all the way to Leytonstone. That night, me, Mum, Dad and Holly's four kittens all slept in the same bed. It was quite sad and my first real incidence of death since goldfish Jill ate goldfish John (I named them after my parents) and then died, and no doubt good preparation for when Auntie Wendy would die later that year.
Note how I made a note of a Cabbage Patch Kid's first birthday in the top right hand corner of the entry. I must also point out the name of the diary. I called it 'Dear Dora' as a nod to Alex's favourite sports brand at the time, Diadora. But then, after the diary had been going for a week or so, I felt I must also attribute Alex's name in the title of it too, and so it was added. THEN I thought I had better cover my tracks and disguise the fact that I fancied Alex, just in case anyone read my diary, so I added a 'd' on the end. Good skills, Susan. They'll never know. Then, in twenty-seven years time, you can write a blog post about it and tell everyone because it really won't matter then.
Someone once grafittied the above on Dacre Avenue. It took me a few weeks to realise that it was more poetic than it sounded because the 'If' and the 'art' were fartoo close together, so for about a month I thought it was a crime to pass wind, and wondered why someone with such a bad grasp of the English language would have the confidence to spray their musings for what seemed like indefinitely on a public surface. It seemed to wash off a few months later, though...just like the jar of past-its-best peanut butter that I poured over the wall - albeit when I was nineteen - to see if anyone thought it was vomit (my Mum did and cleared it up. I never told her it was only peanuts).
Everything is just peanuts, isn't it.