October 2007, four fresh faced go getters, by the name of Pete, Sam, Chris and Charlie moved into Bolingbroke Grove. Great Britain's industrial centre was about to be taken by storm and the inevitable collapse of the economy.
As I'm sure anyone who met him would appreciate, living with Parto was a real treat. His wholehearted, and sometimes foolish, commitment to "bant" meant that he rarely sat still and we rarely stopped laughing. When we first looked around the house, we realized that one of the rooms was absolutely tiny. In typically positive fashion Parto said that he would take it noting that, despite its proportions, the room did at least benefit from significant storage space. He then opened the large cupboard to which he was referring to unveil an enormous, heat emitting and noisy boiler. He said simply "ideal" before bursting into hysterical laughter. The Westropp Wing was born.
Despite having an almost inhumane ability to go out every night, limited only by the occasional bout of tonsillitis, Parto was inevitably the first to rise every weekday morning. Each day, as I waited for the bathroom to be free, the door would burst open and after pausing for dramatic effect, through a cloud of Lynx Africa-scented steam and with the body of a Greek adonis, a look of sneering disapproval on his face and the inevitable glass of barrocca in his hand, Parto would emerge.
Being so quintessentially manly, shaving the three hairs off his face was a daily trial and, in a typical break from convention, Parto would always shave against the grain in order to ensure the closest possible shave. The resultant moustache of blood really served to complete the morning look and was a daily morale-booster. Parto would then inevitably regale me with some amusing anecdote from the previous evening before retiring to the Westropp Wing in order to "slip into something more comfortable" and then head off to work. These small chapters were always a highlight of my day.
While (we can admit it now) he was a pioneer of "bant", this proved to be both one of his greatest strengths and also his greatest weakness. Parto could be made to do practically anything if you told him it would be good banter. He has chinned all sorts of miscellaneous liquids and foods/insects, unleashed his naked body in hugely inappropriate circumstances, including streaking across an 18th green before diving into a nearby lake and made countless other sacrifices on the alter of bant. Some things, however, were beyond even him.
On a Saturday morning, Sam and I were in Sam's room discussing the previous night's festivities when Parto appeared. Seeing the pull-up bar in Sam's doorway (yeah he works out) Pete attempted to tuck into a single pull-up. Despite us cheering him on, and offering him all manner of cash prizes if he achieved just one pull up, after 15 minutes and much sweating, screaming and hysterical laughter, Parto admitted defeat. It was a remarkable performance.
Parto really tucked into London life. He hated missing out on anything, so was always up to something whether it was a miscellaneous sport, gig, breaded food crafting session, ironically formal sounding "informal work drinks", night out or one of various trips out of town (the cottage, festivals, Paris for the Heineken Cup final, Leeds, Dublin, Cornwall etc.). He was a magnetic character who brought so many people together. Through him we all saw so much more of London and met so many more people than we would have otherwise.
I have never encountered a human as capable of talking such complete nonsense or of making so many people laugh. He was also one of the kindest and most caring people I have ever met. He was a truly unbelievable housemate and an incredible friend. In his own words, "Turns out, Westy nailed it!"