Helen - Greek Goddess

on Saturday, June 09, 2007

Helen of Chelsea (photo by LGS)
This is Helen K. She is Greek (funny enough) and she is known to many of her friends as the Greek Goddess. We got to know each other at University and have remained friends ever since. Today she is married with two kids and is a respected and popular teacher but back then.......... hah!

Back then I was staying at the Ingram Court Student's accommodation for my final year at Chelsea College. The University guarantees one year in student accommodation and a few of us all independently decided to delay taking that offer up until the final year. The idea was to be closer to college and the libraries and not have to commute in the final year. The idea was to be more focussed on studying. That was the idea but........hah!

Well, there was some studying but there was a whole lot of other things going on too. For one thing, the place was populated by all kinds of whacky and eccentric characters. A high percentage of them were also known to lurk the corridors late at night on clandestine missions to play pranks on unsuspecting fellow residents.

The place was organised into corridors with about 12 rooms each corridor sharing common toilets, bathing facilities and a kitchen. There were 2 corridors per floor and several floors. Most of the pranks tend to be played by residents of one corridor on residents of another corridor in some form of reverting to a primitive tribal spirit. My corridor did no such thing. It was very happy to play pranks on anyone even those on the same corridor. Heck, we even had friends come round and join the fun.

In the midst of this chaos, Helen was our corridor's mother hen. She took care of us. She was the voice of reason, "Umm, don't you think you should leave Kate alone for awhile cause she's having exams and play your pranks on someone else for now?" She was the one that kept the peace as best she could or at least reminded everyone toplay "nice". She had a lot of Greek guys coming by to visit her.

Strangely, it seemed that none of them had a sense of humor and they frowned on the going ons at that place. Perhaps they felt that their Greek Goddess was being sullied by contact with us.

There was one time when I had had a very bad day and was in the showers late at night, unwinding under the stream of hot water. Unfortunately, two groups of residents decided to have a water balloon fight and stray baloons and buckets of cold water came flying over the shower room walls and drenched me. I was in a funk and in no mood to be blasted with icy water. I grabbed my soaking towel and to avoid the water fight in the corridor, made a bee line to Helen's room. I had a towel round my waist and a wet t-shirt on. I knocked on the door and said, "Helen, I need sanctuary."

Helen, bless her, took me in without a thought. She fussed over me; gave me a towel for my hair and placed a mug of hot coffee in my hands. I told her I was going to just sit in her room until the ruckus died down and she said that was fine. Not long after, there was a knock on the door, and Helen opened it to find one of her Greek suitors had come over to visit. She denies that they were suitors. She says they were just friends.....hah!

Anyway, this Greek guy walks in and sees me with my towel round the waist and another round my head and with a wet T-shirt, sitting in Helen's room in the wee hours after midnight. Can you imagine what he was thinking? Well, I did! I was imagining the Greek Mafia (is there such a thing?) being informed about this Malaysian guy who shows no respect. No respect to our Greek Goddess. I was imagining getting real pally with the fishes of the Thames River.

As it turned out nothing happened, no Greek mafia appeared on my doorstep. I think Helen, bless her, managed to convice him I was harmless. Anyway, Helen, if you read this. Thanks for being the sort of friend who was willing to accept me for who I was. I was always comfortable being me with you. Thanks for staying friends all these years. Thanks also for forgiving us for all our pranks.

Helen K is our Greek Goddess.......a personification of grace and patience, of calm amidst chaos, of the mother goddess. The picture above shows further proof of her special qualities. If you haven't already noticed it, revisit the photo and see if you can find the evidence of her magical powers.


squirrel said...

So fun hearing about your college days and friends!

Tai said...

Having four arms is certainly evidence of special abilities!

What a lovely post!

Open Grove Claudia said...

It's amazing how small the huge gift of friendship can be. It cost her nothing to be kind to you - and you remember it for a lifetime.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl said...

What a nice story. You were lucky to have a friend like Helen.

Gina said...

The picture of poise and graceful, this Helen K.

Ha! i didn't see the lower set of arms at first and it seemed that the book was floating abover her lap. I thought she must have rigged wires holding it up! Then I saw the second set of arms. Ah ha...

Josie said...

Four pairs of hands, two to dry your hair, and two to wrap a towel around you. No wonder you thought she was a goddess, apart from the fact that she is extremely beautiful :-)

It's wonderful to have a friend like that, isn't it? I do hope she sees this. It's a lovely tribute to her.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, sorry I can not find evidence for her state as a goddess in this picture. She can use a portable, read a magazine, do her hair and drive a car all at the same time - a normal woman so ...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these memories of Helen and college.
She sounds like a wonderful person and looks very beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I love the pic of her! Very attractive person and a nice spirit to boot according to your words. :)


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. I had fun recalling the good times.

You're too sharp. There is no getting that past you.

Actually, it cost her a cup of coffee and potentially her reputation within the close knit Greek community.

thanks, I agree.

there is another photo with a pair of hairy arms but that seems to have been lost to the sands of time.

absolutely, she needed the extra hands. Thanks for the kind words.

You are one tough cookie to try to impress. Either that or German women come naturally equipped with four arms. lol.

Thanks. I did say she's married right?

Thanks, I think so.

Janice Thomson said...

What a wonderful post about a special friend even one with 4 arms...that you Lgs???

patterns of ink said...

Sounds like a wonderful person, and so striking that it took me a few looks to notice she has four arms! Really, I didn't see them at first. Most young ladies are not so striking as to hide such an unusual feature. =) Great post!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Yes, those extra arms belong to me. With did one with extremely hairy arms courtesy of another prankster but I can't find that anymore.

Hi Tom,
Yes, I guess her striking beauty serves to distract from the 4 arms. We tried several combinations but found that one arm from each set had to share the same activity e.g. holding the magazine to make it look natural.

CS said...

More like a Hindu goddess! College dorm life - you got both the bad (the cold water bath) and the good (a friend's room for shelter) in short order there.

meggie said...

Great post! Beautiful friend.

Helen K said...

I am Helen K and I an truly touched by grey squirrel's comments. I am blessed to know you. Thanks to all for your kind words. I really don't deserve them.

The extra hands come in useful especially when caring for my three children. Manicures can be costly though!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I know what you mean but let's not offend the Greek Mafia, she's definately a "Greek" Goddess.

Thanks for the compliment and yes, she is indeed.

Hah! Welcome to my humble realm. Sorry I got the number of your children wrong (when did you find time to have three!). I understand you are teaching at our old haunt in Chelsea. Do you remember doing this photo? Do you have a copy of the hairy arm version? I am thinking of doing a post on a mutual Egyptian friend but I haven't decided what to call him. He's probably hoping for "Egyptian God" but that ain't happening. Any suggestions? Have a great life, my friend.

Rhea said...

The Before and After are very persuasive.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Hi there, Rhea. Thanks for dropping in and leaving comments. Seems to have strayed though. Your comment I think is for the following post. Nevermind though. Hope you'll come back soon.

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