Hopy, the beautiful Russian girl


After meeting the Portuguese I started to move away from the City and naturally from Barnes that was a quiet place and a bit far from where the action was.

The new contacts meant that it became logical, practical and economic to move together. It all started with late nights in the West End mainly on weekends, that gradually increased in intensity as I started to make some money working in Discotheques.  I’ll have the opportunity to come back to that subject, but now I am more interested to describe my first real love affair.

Most boys aspire at doing their debut with a female partner as soon as possible and it is of great importance that this is a positive experience. It is certainly a nervous one! It is an advantage if this girl should be a bit older and more experienced.

Living at West Cromwell Rd 3 we had Gilberto Matos and Tony (the Setubal guys).  Opposite them lived another Portuguese, Rodolfo Fonseca. He was studying automobile engineering and was a few years older than everybody else. Truth is, we thought he was ancient, being around the age of 25. At any rate everybody got along with Rodolfo. He was social and we had great fun at his place. We just didn’t let him in on our nightly excursions!

He kept a tight watch on the females and had spoken several times about this beautiful Russian neighbor living in our building, on the top floor. I was obviously interested and thought of her, as well beyond my reach. But she was nice and curious and before long I was invited to her room and discussed many questions and shared common interest in languages and cultural matters. She was older than me and spending her time in London, getting educated. But what was the story of this sophisticated Russian with long black hair?

It turned out she was Armenian, not at all Russian, and had lived in one of the emirates where her family lived. In the Christmas period of 1970 we became a couple to my friends’ amazement and my own great sense of accomplishment. I was in love, but it wouldn’t last!

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