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My best friend’s next door neighbour

by Alli Sharma

I’d had crushes on boys at school, but my first love was my best friend’s next door neighbour. He was very beautiful, with blue eyes and blond hair, and we used to say he looked like Paul Newman. It was 1984. An image of him smoking at the back of the coach on a trip to Blackpool, wearing the Harrington jacket and stay press uniform of an eighties mod. I kept his empty Embassy packet as a souvenir. Years passed and by 1990 I’d moved to London. Someone stopped me in the street near Angel to ask the time. It was him. He asked me out, to see the Paul Weller Movement at the Town & Country Club. Weller was getting back into his stride (literally with amazing brogues). Dee C Lee and Mick Talbot appeared out of the crowd and onto the stage. It was our first date.