By Charlotte Crogan
I remember the first moment I saw Hendon and the shock of belief that this would be my new home for the next three years. It was so different to Nottingham; it wasn’t like normal towns I’m used to. Was it even a town? Where were the local butchers, post office, or corner shop? Why were there so many takeaway shops with bizarre names like Flame Kebab or Sam’s Chicken, with logos looking like a 7 year old had designed them; displaying meat that only looked appetising if someone had consumed one too many. It was all scary and alien but Middlesex was the University I had chosen and therefore had to stick with Hendon (aka Hell Hole.)
The place was interesting itself but the people were more interesting. The inhabitants of Hendon did not seem so bothered about what they wore, how they behaved, any general politeness or what I’d usually think common courtesy was. That was all thrown out of the window, and there was no such thing as normal. People would wear such different clothes, religious attire for example. At first it was all a little intimidating and didn’t know if I needed to act or speak differently to avoid offending them. The picture above shows a gentleman urinating on Hendon high street in front of a supermarket in the daytime. Passers by didn’t seem to look or say anything just put their heads down and carried on walking past. It baffled me when I first moved here that no one else was staring and that everyone just let it be. I now find myself in my third year of living here becoming that person putting my head down ignoring it and carrying on.
The University, probably the best-looking thing in Hendon, was the place where I’ve achieved so much. Personal things such as attempting to live on £100 a month for everything including my new hobby of binge drinking, and of course the studying; in-depth analysing, debating, critiquing has all made me question everything and has really opened me up to things I never thought I would.
“Home is where one starts from.”
– T. S. Eliot
Part of me hates the lifeless soul Hendon has and the dark, dreary feel of it and the impression of no community and isolation. But the other part of me loves the crazy people that keep the place quirky (in its own strange way.) And then there are the links to the amazing time I’ve had at University, and the skills I have now.
Coming towards the end of my time here in Hendon I have to admit a soft spot for the place, the people and the general craziness of it all. I will leave Hendon a different person to how I entered it and I will never forget that.