George House wildlife watched TV in the lounge, while boozing and smoking dope. Some cultivated cannabis plants in their rooms. A cop-raid caused frantic hiding of dope. Cops found a potted plant on Sam's windowsill. "D'yer know this is cannabis like?" asked a cop.
"Firekin' 'ell. No!" said Sam. "A guest asked me to water it while she toured Europe like." The cop confiscated the dope.
Lingam and Inyoni roomed next to us. As Lingam's betel nuts were soaked in drugs, he was often goofed. "Chew these nuts Mak!" Lingam said. I chewed, then rushed to our toilet, spitting Lingam's nuts out. It was hours before I felt fine again.
One morning, Inyoni flew through GH crowing, "'Elp Lingam's dead, 'elp!..." Lingam lay abed, plastic drug wrappings strewn on the floor.
"Phone an ambulance!" I said. "Get salt and water!" Sam sloshed emetic down Lingam's throat. Ambulance men arrived, removing Lingam: his third suicide attempt.
Besides boozing, drugging, shagging, Lingam sorted out Inyoni with his fists. Once after they reconciled, Inyoni crowed, "I love Lingam's brown cock." One night, a knocking at our door woke me: "'Eeeelp! Lingam's 'itting me!"
Wearing only underrods, I jumped out out bed, threw our door open, and Inyoni rushed in. "Go back to bed!" I told Lingam. "I need sleep. I'm working early tomorrow." Lingam slammed his door. "Get into bed with Leah!" I ordered Inyoni.
Lingam knocked on our door: "I'm sorry I hit you Inyoni. Please come back to bed." We pretended to sleep. "Inyoni I looove you. Pleeease come back."
"Go away!" I yelled. "I need sleep." Afterwards, Inyoni boasted I had the biggest cock she'd ever seen. She should've been in PR. Later I asked: "Inyoni, can you spell?"
"S-L-U-T. That's you."
Skate wept on GH dirty doorstep, an empty Jack Daniels bottle bedside him. "My babes has left me," wailed Skate. "My babes has left me..." Skint had fled to Durbs, scared by Skate's payroll thefts. "I'm leaving for Amsterdam," said Skate, packing his bag. He tubed to dirty Paddington on the dirty Circle-and-District line, and hid with friends till cops stopped investigating GH.
Lingam toadied Sam, offering Inyoni's help as chambermaid, as part-payment for rent. Sam agreed, relieved of cleaning duties. Lingam appeared at our door asking, "Have you got Xue's radio and bedside lamp?" We'd borrowed them from Xue. Leah demurred. Lingam backed off, then using Inyoni's master-key, looted guest -rooms, and vanished. Weeks later, Sam caught Lingam in a pub, and punched him.
In the evenings, scrumpie-stupid Duffie knocked on our door asking, "Jayshush, 'ave yer godda loit?"
One night: Knock-knock... "Bugger of Duffy!" I said. "I'm showering.
"What's that?" Leah woke.
"Duffy wants a light." Knock-knock. "Piss off Duffy!"
Knock-knock. I opened the door and shoved Duffy. He collapsed at my feet. I thought of dragging him across the landing to his room. I put my foot on Duffy's stomach. "Jayshush, take yer shite feet orf me eejit! Jashush, 'e's feckin' kickin' me!..."
Sam broke it up. "Firekin' 'ell Mark. If you stay longer in George House, you'll end up in chokey."
Snow fell in December, and enjoying my hotel-work, through my window, I watched pedestrians slipping on pavement ice. I had central heating, food, coffee, TV, a good job. There were morning work-rushes when guests left, and in the evenings when guests arrived. Afternoons were quiet, after Polish chambermaids left.
From snowy Carlisle, we trekked our Freedom-of Scotland Easter train-route. At Fort William Youth Hostel, the manager yelled, "Take yer boo's orf!" We kept them on, while Leah went to the toilet, We trudged through sleety night, and found a B-and-B.
At Skye, we waited in a snowstorm. When a bus arrived, we were wearing all our clothes. Our Kyle of Lochalsh B-and-B hostess, recognizing Leah's hypothermia, sat Leah beside a fire, and fed her hot drinks.
Highlands red deer had descended from snowy heights, close to train tracks...
Shivering in Golspie church pews, we listened to midnight mass with leah's cousin Lillian. Christmas snow covered the ground, icicles shone on a frozen waterfall. When viewing my paternal -grandmother's family Sutherland Dunrobin Castle, we sipped ten-year-old gorse-liquor which Lillian's dad had made.
At freezing Inverness Youth Hostel, central-heating wasn't switched on, so we crawled into our double-sleeping bag beneath a blanket mound...
At Edinburgh Hogmanay, champagne-drunks jostled us on Royal Mile. When they staggered past us again, I stuck my foot out, tripping a drunk. Writhing bodies at our feet disentangled, crawled about, then lurched upright again.