Matt and Alicia, 1997

Alicia and Matt 

“It was my first day at University, studying Contemporary Art at Nottingham Trent when I noticed this cute boy with great cheekbones, scruffy hair, battered leather jacket and a laid back, rangey look to him.  I thought he was quite attractive, but probably a bit too ‘American’ and cheesy, and as he walked past and I turned around to him check him out fully I noticed he had a bit of a big bottom which was a definite no-no.  It wasn’t until the first day of the second term when I was lost and running late for class, that I actually spoke to him.  Seeing the familiar(ish) face as I jogged down the road I grabbed him and asked “do you know which room I’m supposed to be in?”  To which he replied “no sorry”, and I ran on…”

I’d been vaguely attracted to him since day one, but I’d not really been serious about it, and had been seeing someone else from back home the whole time.  And apart from this physical attraction I found him quite annoying, showing off by openly shoplifting from the college canteen, and messing around in our Visual Art class when I was working every available hour to pay for my education.  As our first year progressed and we all grouped off, this boy developed a crush on my friend – the most popular girl at Uni, so although I never spoke to him, I saw him around quite a bit as he loitered around wherever she’d be, and generally supplied the rest of the course with whatever drugs they required.    After a while, as we settled in to college life I started to quite like his presence, turning up for ten minutes at a time, then disappearing off into the night, and I berated this girl, (who I was swiftly realising you could not trust further than you could throw her) for not giving him a chance.  But beyond keeping him around to massage her ego she just wasn’t interested.  Eventually towards the end of the first year I finally split up with the guy back home, who anyway had been a rebound thing from my first long term boyfriend, and I vowed to my friends the morning after the split “that’s it, I’m off guys for at least 6 months, I need to be on my own and work out who I am.” That night we headed off to the local student, karaoke bar to celebrate my newfound singledom.  As I downed my third £ a pint and took to the stage to sing Paula Abduls ‘Straight Up’ I noticed Matt saunter into the bar and sidle up to Rhian.  As the song ended and I left the stage, `(in my mind to raptuous applause), I noticed Rhian nodding in my direction and whispering slyly to Matt, who had a strange look on his face that I couldn’t fathom.  To my horror, as she then joined me back at the bar she told me that in order to get him off her back she’d told him I fancied him and was now single and he should try it on with me instead.  We eventually left the bar in favour of that classic northern England student hangout – Ritzys!  I was particularly pleased to be leaving as I was excruciatingly embarrassed about Rhians little admission to Matt, and so was not impressed when he seemed to be tagging along with our group when we went off to the nightclub.  I managed to separate myself from the group once inside the club and spent the night with other friends, however on a return journey from the Ladies I suddenly realised that he was heading in my direction, straight across the dancefloor, and that at any moment our paths would cross.  Swiftly taking avertive action, I turned my back on him and changed direction, head down, into the crowd.  The next thing I knew I was being grabbed from behind by my shoulders, spun around, and kissed firmly and fully on my lips.  It took two hours of full on ‘snogging’ on the side of the dancefloor, and a two minute conversation that basically went something like “your place or mine?”, before we grabbed a taxi back to his halls of residence for a night of drunken, studenty passion and we’ve basically been inseparable ever since…”


like a lot of stuff that happened at university, events and memories are surrounded in a haze of alcohol and weed consumption. Both of us in the first year kind of kept our selves to our selves. I don’t remember Alicia out on many of the fresher/ first year events, then again i didn’t do that many myself. The fist time i met Alicia properly was when we were introduced by a mutual friend in the local pub to our university. There was a big group of them getting going for a night out, i was probably stoned and not very sociable i don’t think i stuck around for that long. I had definitely seen Alicia around college before then but this was i think our first hello.

Bizarrely enough the night we got together started in the same pub. I was drinking with an old friend of mine from my foundation year at Camberwell . She was being pissed, pretentious and annoying . I remember thinking how the hell can i get away from her . I then noticed Alicia and all her mates come in to the pub, dressed to kill and having a riot. This time fuelled by Alcohol rather than weed i plucked up the courage to go over and actually be sociable . I remember Alicia as slim, tall and beautiful and perhaps out of my league, being a scruffy, shabby drummer. As the night progressed i followed her and her friends from bar to bar trying to work out whether i had an earthly chance. We went via Karaoke to Nottingham’s infamous Ritzy night club. By this time i was convinced (through alcohol confidence) that i had a chance. But i had no slick lines or tactics to broach the subject with her, useless!! In the end i threw caution to the wind and just grabbed her as we were walking round the club , we started kissing. Not the most romantic act but nervous students aren’t always the best at these things.

Strangely i always maintain that we met the morning after our first night together. I think up to then we’d both been drunk and i cant really remember our conversations. But the morning i woke up after our night at Ritz’s i couldn’t believe who was next to me in my tiny student bed , she looked absolutely beautiful, the make up had gone the booze was gone. we finally started to get to know each other.

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