However given the state of my nose during my two years in a student house this is not surprising. I think my housemates could testify to the ghastly noises that emanated from my room, especially in the early morning, as I consciously or otherwise tried to clear my nostrils of the accumulated secretions.
Our house, you see, was very damp. We had looked round a few houses before we settled upon this one. One was rejected because it had a ghost called Floyd who haunted the bathroom, another was rejected because we went in to see the landlord with the firm negotiating point that we would not pay what he wanted unless he fixed the shower and we left the landlord having gained no concessions. They might have been the same house come to think of it – maybe we just wanted Floyd exorcised from the bathroom. We left it quite late to find a house and all the good ones had been taken. Eventually when I was away for the weekend the ladies agreed on a house and, although I hadn’t seen it, I trusted their judgement…
In the years since I have often wondered what went wrong in their heads. They are, on the whole, a fastidious bunch and yet, the first thing I saw when I went into the house was a massive damp patch dominating the dining room wall. History repeats itself, they say, or at the very least has a slight stammer because when I bought a house in Liverpool 10 years later the first problem I was aware of on the night I moved in was a colossal damp patch on the ceiling of the bedroom.
So, we moved into 64 Egerton Road (Edgy Road) and what larks!
Anyway, the point is that we lived in a damp house and this did not help my upper respiratory tract. That, in combination with my snoring, led to an overproduction of mucus, which led to an excess of snorting and sniffing in the morning and, now I come to think of it, during the night.
Yes, during the night. I realise that this must be the case because my nosebleeds were often worse at night when I was asleep. I would wake in the middle of a nosebleed and lie there waiting for it to stop. Astonishingly I got so good at managing these nosebleeds that I almost never ended up with blood anywhere but around my nostrils and in my stomach (which was gross and nausea-inducing)
The last nosebleed I remember having at university was not in Edgy Road, but in the Small Animal Hospital on Crown Street in one of the tutorial rooms. Scary half teddy bear, half pudding bowl haircut Bryn Tennant was working round our tutorial group asking questions about small animal medicine. I was always terrified of the scorn that lecturers could pour upon stupid or incomplete answers and as he worked round the group towards me I could feel my body building up to ‘fight or flight’. When the questing searchlight of knowledge fell upon me, my body chose to fight by splurging blood out of my nose onto the table, thus facilitating flight by giving me an excuse to go into the toilets to staunch the bleeding.
It was less extreme than falling under a lorry to avoid an exam, but the stakes weren’t as high. I still got out of answering a question.