That Digs Column

By Candace Whitehead

When we’re students, we think we can do anything. And so we think once we gain ultimate independence we’ll discover hidden talents of housekeeping. That illusion of mine shot out the window as I sat among
boxes and suitcases while my digsmate tried to cook cottage pie for dinner. An ominous smoke started
pouring from the bottom of the pan from a label I hadn’t been able to remove.

Yes, folks, I can’t remove sticky labels from a non-stick pan. I had tried everything, including steel wool, which did nothing more than spread the stickiness and scratch my beautiful non-stick coating. I realised then I may have more to learn than I thought. I woke up the next morning, covered in red sambuca and wondering where I was. I sat up, frantically looking for the guy I might have napped with, when I saw my suitcase on the floor and lay down with a head screaming like the electric plane from the furniture workshop next door.

I couldn’t believe what I was doing, or why I was doing it. Res seemed easier, and at that moment I felt I would rather take on corridors of screaming girls and dodgy res meals. I was res-sick, and the rest of my day didn’t get any better. We tried to buy groceries (Where did all our money go?) and clean the thick layer of paint dust that had settled in our digs. The first few weeks of our newly-discovered independence
were crazy – one of the lower points being the death of our beloved pet cockroach, Homer, who
drowned in an unfortunate coffee accident. That first night I thought it would be all plain sailing – I can
cook, I thought. I’m fairly tidy. And here I am, sitting on a floor covered in dust from the workshop next
door and I’m about to ruin the first roast chicken I’ve ever made.

But I’m happier than I could believe. Living in digs is an adventure,and if I have to go hungry to live it, I will.


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