After I was left alone to settle into my accommodation in first year I was definitely nervous about meeting my flatmates. Isn’t everyone? However, this worry I had instantly disappeared when I was surprised by a knock at the door and an offering of tea by one of my new flatmates. A great start! Despite many shops visibly being located nearby, we then decided to divert away from unpacking and venture across Fallowfield to Aldi to do that all-important, exciting first food shop. Engrossed in conversation about holidays to Zante and summer jobs, we forgot the essentials, but did purchase a bottle of sickly sweet Peach Schnapps. Definitely a necessity.
The breezeblock décor of our Oak House kitchen was, like the majority, complimented by the stereotypical student littering of noodle packets and a vast array of unwashed saucepans, left for days on end with the remains of an experimental pasta dish or a now congealed substance no longer identifiable, let alone edible. One of my flatmates made endless cups of tea, managing to spill his brew every time on transporting it to his room. Left in his wake was a constant trail of spilt tea that would reappear daily, confirming he had briefly vacated his room that day.
Our kitchen was perhaps not the cleanest or most aesthetically-pleasing, but it was where many memories were created, most of them concerning food. There was always someone there with an excessive supply of chocolate to nurse your heartache or supply you with a comforting slice of toast, ready to hear all the details about your recent Tinder date.
Whether suffering from a hangover or a full day at university we would all congregate in the kitchen in the evening. Fajitas became a staple meal, but we also worked our way through every pizza we could find at our local supermarket. It wasn’t until the end of the year we discovered one of our freezers was stocked with over 200 sausages that were never consumed, perhaps due to their unappetising appearance.
The best evenings were when we would all decide to collect together our loose change and trek to Sainsbury’s in order to purchase an indulgent chocolate fudge cake to devour together. Equally Pancake Day did not only bring out our competitive sides, as we exhibited our pancake-flipping skills, but also ignited a love for pancakes which would result in our Shrove Tuesday celebrations being extended to a number of weeks.
When we couldn’t face cooking or the effort of heating something in the oven, ‘Spoons was naturally our number one destination where often a meal would quickly lead on to the suggestion of going out and a round of drinks would be purchased. The takeaways that filled our drunken hunger such as Kebab King and Venice Pizza may no longer be with us, but the memories of nights out ended with laughter over Paz’s famous cheese, chips and gravy, or of deep conversations and new friendships formed in the queue for a pizza, are something we all remember when we look back to our first year.