I climbed out the window and walked along the ledge

They said I could stay but would not give me a key. I said that was okay as they knew I used to break in when I lived there.

This was in the 1970s when I shared a flat in London. I was a chef at the Cafe Royal in Regent Street and the others were chefs at various hotels and restaurants. Whenever I forgot my door key I would break in. I found it easy. None of the others had the nerve to try it.

I left London but returned, while a theology student, to work as a chef again during my Easter holidays (I returned for the summer holidays too). I asked my old flat-mates if I could stay. I don’t know why they would not let me have a key, perhaps they just wanted to be awkward now that I had become a Christian which puzzled them.

I used to enter the door at ground level (as that was never locked) and would climb the stairs to the top. A window at the top of the stairs did not lock so I could pull myself up, get it open, and climb out on to the ledge. I would walk along the ledge past two bay windows (bedrooms) and enter by the lounge window which also did not lock. I did it every day for the weeks during my Easter stay and again every day during the summer vacation. I assume the neighbours got used to seeing me do it.

I have since told my children about this. As I was in London last week and had time to spare I decided to visit the old place and take a photo so they could picture it better.

Here it is then. I am the stick man in black.

I would not do it now! I have more sense now. Note the spiked railings I would have fallen on if I had slipped.

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