30.03.14 (Day 98, still)


I’m in McDonald’s (I fancied a change of scene). I had to get out as I was climbing the walls, literally: I’ve been painting and therefore look a right two and eight as my hands are covered in black paint. I managed to get most of it off but under the nails is a bastard to get to. Oh well, I get funny looks anyway, when the teenage fan club surround me. Now I’ll just get misjudged for being dirty in a different way. Finger nails aside, I’m clean and changed: another Fred Perry polo shirt with my Weird Fish cherry red shirt on top; black drainpipes, my faithful cherry red DM boots and my black sheepskin coat.

The netbook is charging next door in the newsagent and until work on that (on a Sunday), I’m jotting notes and reading. I’m about three quarters of the way through The Curious Incident and next up is The Soft Machine, by William Burroughs: one of my own books, as I’ve decided to return all but the book I’m reading to the library, for fear of theft or damage. A shame as I’m allowed to borrow up to 30 items at a time with my level of membership and like to have more than one book on the go at any one time: usually a novel, a collection of short stories, some poetry and  a non-fiction volume.

Incidentally, I’ve been advised to point out some facts among my ramblings. So here are the footnotes:

I am NOT homeless: I have made a home but remain transitory.

I am NOT jobless: I work on various things.

I am NOT penniless: I get paid for some of the work I do, although a lot is voluntary.

I am NOT alcoholic: I was diagnosed as having Alcohol Dependency Syndrome; a recognised medical illness and it’s what is on my sick note. I can provide documented proof and have had to to certain authorities.

I AM also diagnosed as suffering chronic depression.

Most people don’t get it and don’t get me. The feeling is very much mutual.

Mother Fuckering Sunday

30.03.14 (Day 98)


As I may have mentioned once or twice, I fucking detest Sundays: no library, shops only open for limited hours and the wrong end of the week for money (I get paid on Mondays). But it is The Day of The Lord and I am gradually coming round and hearing the knock.

I’m at home, writing in the paper journal (or I was), as the netbook is low on battery. I may pop into town later and get it (her) charged up in the usual charging station (my friendly local newsagent) but for now I’m staying put as I’m not sure I can tolerate all the happy families out there on Mothers’ Day. Not that I begrudge them but I don’t have a happy family.

I sent my mum a text earlier, wishing her happy Mothers’ Day. I’d have phoned (as I did on her birthday and my dad’s and their wedding anniversary) but chose not to as I assumed that mum would be with my sister, from whom I remain very much estranged and who thought she was doing me a favour by driving a wedge between myself and our parents. I accept my part of the blame but she was harsh. My assumptions seemed to be well-founded when my mum phoned me back (which was nice of her and appreciated) and the background noises were those of a family gathering. They’ll be having a family roast together but without the black sheep; the rebel; the one who is chronically depressed and who suffered from Alcohol Dependency Syndrome. Just like Christmas dinner when the rebel’s lunch was a turkey sandwich in a hospital bed (the turkey was in bread; it was me in the bed).

I assume my ex-wife is having a similar affair with her partner and my kids. And my ex-fiance will probably be going out with her mum. Danielle was assumed step mum to my kids and great in that capacity. It’s just a shame that “they” fucked things up for us. Also, I got on very well with the “Mother-In-Law” until I fucked it all up.

Lunch here isn’t unpleasant today though: bacon and egg quiche (which we had), with garlic sausage (which we had): sort of an English-continental fusion. Or something.

Life here isn’t too bad either, now that I’ve reclaimed the house and done it up a bit, after it was trashed. It’s mine again now until “The Daddy” returns but hopefully he’ll see that I’ve done okay with the place, which he introduced me to and invited me into after all. He put me up and I’ve done okay with the house. I only wish the same could be said for the people I’ve taken in but it’s in my nature to do so. Human kindness is something I’ve received a lot of and what I have, I share. It isn’t a two-way street though apparently and I really should be more selfish, as others have advised.

One of the people I took in was for protection from The Daddy should he return but my protector just drunk, slept and soiled the place. I’d rather take my chances with The Daddy, even if he is somewhat unpredictable and with a reputation reaching far ahead of him.

For now at least, the house is mine; albeit a stop gap while something more stable is arranged. I’ve just made it more pleasant for what will hopefully not be much longer.

I’ve re-hung the book shelves and placed the books back thereon (library books and ones which I own); put all of the furniture which survived back in place and acquired new things from some neighbours. Last night I lay in my bed (which had been “borrowed”) and continued to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: I’m about two thirds of the way through. Then feeling relatively safe, I bunged my earplugs in and drifted off to the gentle strains of Radio 4.

I was content for a while. Then the clocks went forward, I lost an hour and it was Sunday.

Mend and Make Do

29.03.14 (Day 97)


This is the third ad-libbed post in as many posts as I’m getting used to this netbook thing and making it my own, finding it very easy to get on with and eschewing the hand-written journal when circumstances allow. Like most of the time I’m in McDonald’s, like now. And for once I’m not surrounded by the teenage fanclub.

I’ve been asked by the manager to mention the manager. I’ve pointed out that I don’t tend to mention people by name, so King Ding-a-ling, Hi! FFS! The things I do to be allowed to spend three hours drinking a coffee.

Despite saying that I wasn’t going to tackle Gilbert House because of my back and even though I saw certain people last night, I grew bored earlier and decided to tackle the concrete bunker. Five hours of hard slog and it’s looking okay. One room down at least and just another three to do. I was helped by some neighbours and reclaimed things. And my back is fucking agony! Thank fuck I’ve reclaimed my bed.

I look a right state though as I did some painting and managed to paint my hands in the process. Manicures are me: Goth / Emo ones (the paint was black; still is).

Not only am I getting used to this netbook but I love it. As soon as I got my head around Android, it all joined up; a bit like Windows 8 on my Lumia. Always the L337 933K.

Hoops, Hurdles and Pot Noodles

29.03.14 (Day 97)


Operation Gilbert House clear up is on hold for a day as my back will not stand the bending down and lifting required of the job. I’ve either slipped a disc or compressed one. In either case, it fucking hurts to just sit up, walk, turn around, get into a car…

The back is one of the many things I need to visit the doctor with, as opposed to leaving my back behind. I also need to provide DWP with details of all of my hospital visits and the dates thereof, once my records are received in Tonbridge from Sidcup. I assumed things would be more joined-up but apparently this is something I need to do myself. So, visits, admissions and stays over the last two years which I need to get definite dates for:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken toe (twice)
  • Getting bottled
  • Taking too many of the wrong kind of pills
  • Mental health assessment (hah!)

So more flaming hoops and spiked hurdles to overcome. But it will eventually lead to a more permanent set-up than Gilbert House and with that will come luxuries I miss, like TV, the ability to cook and even electricity and running water. I gain access to most through various means but only temporarily.

Oh for a kettle and the ability to make a Pot Noodle (which incidentally, I’ve heard may contain various unpalatable ingredients but which I’ve checked: not poodle). I am very inventive and creative with limited ingredients and cooking media (which is why I’m due to mentor in the soup kitchens) but just the simple pleasure of that slag of hot snacks is one of the many little things which I miss and crave. I’ve mentioned that I miss my ex-fiancé (and girlfriend, wife, parents, family, kids…) and one of the last things I did for Danielle was provide a romantic dinner for two, when I’d lost the business and had no money: a shoe box, containing two Pot Noodles, two pairs of chopsticks and a tea light: ever creative and ever the romantic; that’s me.

One day more (Les Miserables) and soon I’ll be over the hurdles, through the hoops and able to cook for a special someone again.

Ad Meliora

28.03.14 (Day 96)


Ad-libbed this one too; unrehearsed, not in the hand-written journal and just typed up as things occur to me.

Because it’s been a busy day: I was at one of the churches in Tunbridge Wells today for soup kitchen and helped out in the actual kitchen. I spent some time in Manna Cafe, attached to Christchurch on the High Street and used their free wi-fi. Whilst there I found out that the ex-girlfriend seems to be doing well: I’m glad; pleased for her. You don’t need to be actual friends with someone to remain friends on Facebook and that’s how we remain. As far as I’m concerned, we also remain friends anyway but others have their objections so we don’t tend to talk. But her posts would indicate that she’s getting better. So maybe it was me holding her back: I’ll take that one. Sorry sweetie.

I’ve been in touch with my ex-fiancé and I’m due to visit at some point. With mixed emotions admittedly. I miss her intensely and all that we had together but I deserved what I got after what I did to her (sorry baby). It’ll be nice to see her (I want little more) but the memories – although pleasant – will be painful. But I will pay the visit.

The letter I’ve been writing for the last few days went off too, personally delivered by my helper. It will have been read by now so for those that hadn’t guessed, it was to my dad. The contents will remain between him and me (and my mum) but I did it: ten pages hand-written and that wasn’t even touching upon the smallest percentage of things I want to say to him (nice things). More hand-written letters will follow, to my dad and to others. Sorry for what I did but I’m doing better now.

As a result of various meetings and discussions by proxy undertaken on my behalf by others, things are falling into place and moving on, finally. I have work to do but what I’m doing and planning are moves in the right direction. Cryptic perhaps but I don’t wish to tempt fate by going into detail here.

Something else I found out today is that the people who wrecked Gilbert House have most likely moved on. Even though I’m hoping to move on myself soon as a result of the above-mentioned discussions, for now I need to remain at Gilbert House. Given that my house guests are unlikely to return though, I plan to reclaim it and restore it to its former “glory” over the weekend. I really do have my work cut out on that front but if I’m going to be there for another few weeks at least, I may as well make it reasonably fit for human habitation. There’ll be some financial outlay but I lent some money out last night (only a fiver) and once I get that with my applied interest back (tonight), I’ll have the means. I lent five pounds and am getting ten pounds back 24 hours later. What’s the APR on that? I’m good at this loan shark thing. With that and the commission I charge for running various errands, I do okay; thieving bastard that I am. But that’s business. That’s why I used to make such ridiculous margins on the print work I undertook: I’m a broker and middle men do work and have their place (in the middle).

There are various irons in the fire on the business front too. My mobile has been quite busy of late: both mobiles in fact. I’m doing deals, earning commission, loaning money, selling, trading, building a couple of things in the background and actually just getting there by picking myself and things up.

Towards better things. Ad Meliora.



These Boots

27.03.14 (Day 95)


I’m in McDonald’s (part of the family), having a lunch time coffee.

Me: “Good morning.”
Georgia: “Coffee Steve?”
“Yes please.”
“You’d better grab your 16 sugars.”
“But I only have 13.”
“16 Steve: it’s a large one.”

Consider yourself at home.

Despite my back, I made it up a long, gradual hill to the doctors’ earlier, to collect my sick note, register permanently and arrange for my notes to be transferred from Sidcup. I made it thanks to my beloved faithful Cherry Reds: my DM boots, which I was complemented on yesterday and which prompted a conversation with a gentleman of a certain age about Punk and Ska music (or the movement: almost a religion in fact) where my roots lie. I’m not a fashion victim but I was also complimented on how good I looked: Cherry Reds, drainpipe black jeans, black Fred Perry polo shirt, grey cardigan and my trademark hat.

I also decided to have a new piercing, courtesy of my friend Rich, who does literally backstreet piercings out the back of his shop. I now have a safety pin through my ear as a nod towards my punk roots and a crucifix attached to it as a nod towards him upstairs.
I’m working again tomorrow, in the soup kitchen at one of the churches in Tunbridge Wells where I help out and where I’ll be mentoring soon. Just voluntary for now but it’s all about job satisfaction for me at the moment and it will eventually lead to other things. So work and benefits are sorted; housing next.

On the way back from the doctors’, I passed the pub where in 1986 I suffered my fatal accident. No-one there now was working (or born) way back then but they have contacts and are going to seek witnesses to the event for me. I’m writing my memoirs and want to speak to someone who saw what happened on that key date as I don’t remember it. Also on the way back, I spoke to a driver of a 222 bus – the route I used to take from home in Ightham to school – and I’ve blagged a lift one day. I’m also planning a trip to Sidcup as Danielle has agreed to see me and I need to collect various things. It’ll be difficult but also nice; nice to see the love that was my life.
Now I just need to get there but even if I can’t do so by bus or train, my faithful Cherry Reds will take me there.



It looks like Banksy visited in the night.

Slogging, Flogging…

26.03.14 (Day 94)


I’m in McDonald’s, having had brunch (bacon and egg wrap with Ketchup. And coffee; 13 sugars). I’ve been here for three hours (so far), while my netbook and mobile charge, courtesy of my friendly newsagents next door but two. They do that for me, as they realise that my devices give me the means to remain in contact with people, build relationships and conduct business. As well as nice coffee, McDonald’s has free wi-fi.

I spend longer that perhaps I should in McDonald’s but I pay my way, mind my own business and am made to feel more than welcome. As recently as last night, I was told that I’m one of the family. I’ll be Fagin then.

I do get strange looks when the teenage fan club gathers around me but I’m beyond caring about that and so much else. It’s just not worth my time. I do what I feel to be right and if I’m judged, so be it.

Yesterday was a bit of a game-changer, partly because of all the work I’ve been doing voluntarily with the churches in Tunbridge Wells, leading to a meeting with CAB. Yesterday at lunch I was just on the sandwich station but on the next cookery course, I’m tutoring (subject to terms imposed by my helper, which I’ve embraced). Later in the day, I was with my CAB lady and phoned DWP to try once again to sort out my whole fucked-up benefits situation. I lost patience and both my helper and CAB lady sympathised. The latter took over and sorted everything out for me. So that’s nice.

Later today I’m walking to my doctors’ surgery (if my back will hold me). I had said that I’d return to CRI as well but I can only do so much with this back pain. I figure the doctor is more important.

So I’m due some slogging, ignoring the flogging and will stop blogging now as I have other things I need to write: Chapter Three, Two short stories and a letter to a rather important person.

Head, Finger, Back and Feet

24.03.14 (Day 92)
I’m in McDonald’s (as usual) and I’m more miserable as usual as I’m in pain. A lot:
  • Head: I’ve got a bastard of a cold (a medical term). This is the first cold I’ve had since I’ve been out as living as we do tends to build the immune system. I’ve got pressure on my synuses, which is causing my ruptured tear gland (from the bottle I received to the noce) to leak. And a tension headache. And a sore throat.
  • Finger: septic. Swollen. Very red. Very painful. The engagement ring from my ex-girlfriend is strangling the finger. Bolt cutters can’t get it off but I’m not sure I’d want it that way anyway.
  • Back: whilst raising a garage door by standing beneath it and pushing it up with my head (as you do) I’ve managed to compress the cartiledge between two vertebrae.
  • Feet: just sore from all the walking.

And I did phone the doctors’ surgery this morning, starting at eight when the lines open for the day’s appointments. When I finally got through at 8.45, all appointments for the day were gone. And you can only consult on one ailment at a time. So I need many consultations.

And I need to get a sick note, which will help with benefits, which in turn will help with housing. More hoops and barriers though.
My head hurts so much from banging it against a wall that I’m tempted to bury it in the sand again.
Having spent most of the day in the library, I’m back in McDonald’s for my third coffee of the day.
I’m reading: Adam Robots, by Adam Roberts. This is one of the books which went missing but which has now been returned via a rather convoluted route. I’m still reading The Curious Incident but Adam Robots is a collection of short stories, so I can dip in and out.
Writing wise, I’m plotting Chapter Three of the Victor and George Story and it’s coming together well.