05.03.14 (Day 73)


The boys returned. They’re in Tunbridge Wells at the moment, whilst I’ve remained in Tonbridge. I ran some errands today and earned commission, so I’m out and having some “me” time with a rather splendid half rack of ribs (it’s not very good company, so I’m eating it). We’re all meeting back at base later and it’s been decided (by “them”) that there’ll be no more threats to my safety as they’re actually going to seek out my aggressors and have a word.

(“I’m the daddy sweetheart”)

Besides the commission, I’ve acquired some articles (by honest means: hello Kent County Constabulary: I know you read this and I’m humbled), which I plan to sell. Gilbert House (where we live and where Gilbert House Publishing is based) now has a trading arm and my sales via that medium will contribute to the Gilbert House group kitty.

On Friday, we’re undertaking a big clear up operation and deep cleaning throughout Gilbert House. We’re all stuck out here for a while, so we might as well make it a habitable home.


06.03.14 (Day 74)


Whilst the housemates slumber, I’m up and I’ve finally sussed the Lumia and Windows 8: both are things of beauty now that they work as they (always) should (have). I’ve also changed my tariff, thanks to some helpful advice in the 02 shop: I’m still on PAYG but now with free minutes, texts and data. All for the same price as I was paying for fuck all and being charged for every call and text, as well as having to rely on wi-fi hotspots for data. I guess I procrastinated.

So, the collective sleeps while I do my thing. The collective in the commune – as it currently stands – is as follows:

  • Tom: the ex-Royal Marine. He collects the money
  • Lukas: a Polish heavyweight boxer. He does the heavy work and provides protection, even for Tom
  • Becky: Tom’s girlfriend. Hard as nails but our bit of glamour, which comes in handy
  • Me: co-ordinator, re-seller, errand-runner, commission-earner. Fagin

Imagine Oliver Twist, Trainspotting, Reservoir Dogs and and episode of Star Trek featuring The Borg and you’re half way there.

It was really nice to be the last one home last night and to find the rest of the household in-situ: my friends; my family. They’re all out in Tunbridge Wells again tonight but I can’t go as I have a prior engagement: I’m out for a drink with Lidl’s Head of Security (Keeping my options open and keeping more good company).

Today is a bit key: it’s the date that my bar is lifted in The Railway Tavern in Bexley (it was six months ago that it was imposed). Danielle is due back from holiday and there was a glimmer of hope that we’d visit the old haunt together, to warm the cool reception I was expecting and demonstrate that she and I are okay. Unfortunately, she’s been delayed and I couldn’t get the finances together for the trip. Probably for the best as my reception would indeed be cool from certain quarters. I did hurt Dan after all and she has her protectors in Bexley, just as I have mine in Tonbridge.

One day I shall face the music as I miss the poker scene in Bexley, Sidcup, Bexleyheath, Welling and all around there. There isn’t a scene nor league in Tonbridge, so I may have to put money aside for a trip back to pokerland: not necessarily to Bexley but to that general area, where I know that games are played and leagues are run. It’s another income stream.

The game will have changed since I last played (it constantly does) live or online. I’m unable to play online as although I have funds in various poker accounts, Windows 8 doesn’t seem to support any of the poker sites’ software; or vice versa. Hopefully I’ll find my form again though and when I do, I am a good player. Poker does have a luck element, of course but there is also a lot of skill involved, which most people don’t realise. It’s been said by some of the legendary professional players that the game takes minutes to learn but a lifetime to master.

I shall have to start afresh (like I have in life, work and business) and play with micro stakes. Just like my business and the £250k PA turnover (with 57% gross margins and therefore nice dividends) has gone, like so much else, so have the days when I could rise in the morning, run the business until mid-afternoon, then travel to London to play poker in a casino for the night. I used to average £200 per day profit in that venture. Okay, some days I’d lose £1000 but others I’d make twice that: there is skill involved. But to play live with £1 / £2 blinds requires a buy-in of at least £50. Sit down at a table with that amount of chips in front of you and you’re food. The maximum buy-in at that level is £400 and that’s what you really need to sit down with. If you’re buying in for £400 though, you need a bankroll behind you of at least £6000. I had a six grand bankroll but I had to donate it to the “Steve’s legs fund”: it was prized from me by a business creditor, who was threatening to break my legs.


I’m in Wetherspoons (again) and the housemates are in Tunbridge Wells (again). I’ve earned some money today, so I’ve treated myself to dinner: it’s Curry Club tonight, so I’m having a chicken jalfrezi: very nice, with just the right level of heat for me.

Tomorrow is my platinum something or other, as it’s Day 75 on the road. It’s clean up day at Gilbert House (Publishing, Trading and home). We somehow need to clear the place out but not alert anyone to our presence.

Try to remain undiscovered.

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