Red Laces, White Braces

08.10.14 (Day 290)


Back when I was a punk (do you ever stop being a punk, given that it’s a mindset, verging on a religion, as well as the music), I wore white laces in my Doctor Marten 14-hole boots. White laces represented anarchy, peace and freedom and that remains my sociological ideal. Anarchism has become my political philosophy: this from someone who once leaned just ever so slightly to the right of centre on politics. The red lace brigade believed in anarchy and chaos and I’ve been a bit chaotic in my life and moods lately.

It’s been six days since the last post here, apart from a poem (I wonder who that might have been written for?) and they’ve been six pretty chaotic days. Just as the same as the last 290, I’ve spent the last six days fighting the system to try to sort things out. Just small things, like my life. I’ve been more tenacious and determined than usual over the last six days though and my tenacity and determination has allowed me to finally make some progress. In a nutshell:

The various people, agencies and organisations that I’ve been dealing with seem to have learned joined-up writing, in that they’re finally all working together.

My next stepping stone for a while has been Colebrook House (a male hostel for recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and criminals. I fall into only one of those categories and although it may sound like a daunting place, I don’t judge others so if they don’t judge me, we’ll be fine). Colebrook have been waiting for information from others, so that they can assess my risk, to others and myself. The police were pretty efficient in getting my crime report back as my criminal record is short. They didn’t need chasing (they normally do the chasing themselves, of people like I was not so long ago). The doctors needed chasing for my medical report and after much of said chasing, they’ve come through. My medical report has now been sent to Colebrook House and as well as alcohol dependency, it states that I suffer severe depression: I finally got a diagnosis, alongside the alcohol. Although alcohol is a depressant, my doctor spoke to CRI and both parties agree that I am alcohol dependent and not alcoholic. Therefore I am perfectly capable of abstaining, not binge drinking and eventually being able to drink only in social situations. For the moment, I still need to keep topped up on booze to keep Delirium Tremens and boredom at bay but my new anti-depressant medication ought to help. I could relieve the boredom by going out more but the paranoia prevents me from doing so. I’m on Mirtazapine, which also contains a sedative. I’ve taken them before (as I have many drugs, prescription and otherwise) and they knock me out. I’ve done the same for many others, so it’s about time I got something back. This of course will help with my insomnia. So thanks to someone actually thinking about the situation and not merely ticking boxes, we have some progress and have cast off some inhibitors.

Although a long time in coming, all of this is of great relief and even though I’ve not started on the anti-depressant tablets yet (that starts today), I feel better: the placebo effect perhaps but so much better that I’m looking to start a small sole trader enterprise for myself (one of the things I’ve been working on in lieu of going out). I’ve done it for others and I used to run businesses. Unlike the latter though, there will be no three year period of working 16-hour days to just get the thing up and running, as did my limited companies. My idea is simple, local and should work. Therefore, so will I. And if I’m busy, I don’t drink as I’m not bored and frustrated. And if I don’t drink, I don’t feel so depressed. If I’m not depressed or on alcohol, my paranoia will reduce. That’s partly what the tablets are for. And I should sleep more, also addressing the other problems. It just needed everything to be joined up. I’ve started already.

I’m not getting complacent and there’s a lot more work to do but a year from now, I’m hoping to have a new place of my own, to have proven myself, to myself and others and to have re-built something. I’ll then regain access to my biological children and eventually the wife will move in and join us.

Those who doubt and who always did; those who fucked off (and I’m glad they did): stay fucked off and keep your mouths shut. Among others, the wife isn’t afraid to open her mouth. She keeps me happy and swallows everything I feed her: the truth. We have a symbiotic relationship; mutually beneficial: we need and want one another. She fights with me, even though our assumed relationship is forbidden. Just like me, she kicks, punches, scratches and bites. In my eyes she’s whiter than white, yet she shares my views and wears the red braces favoured by the true Skinheads who us punks were allied to, to hold up the trousers she wears in our relationship whilst I wear the apron. She’s a rebel and an anarchist at heart and she has mine. She’s one of my best friends, we spend as much time together as we can and we help each other: symbiosis. She’s my other half.

I wear the apron in the relationship and sometimes I’m lucky enough to be let loose in the kitchen of the current safe house. As well as preparing and cooking dinners, I concoct sauces and sandwich fillings. As with other places I’ve moved on from, my creations may be missed when I leave here. I don’t follow recipes. I use what’s available and make it up as I go along. Therefore there are no recipes. So when I’m asked for recipes upon departure, I decline to give them because they simply don’t exist. Some are secret because I simply don’t remember what I put in them. The place I’m staying in is different to others though: it’s nicer, there’s more freedom and the company is nicer. The only place I’ve left which was on a par with this is Sidcup where I spent time with the love of my once-upon-a-time. But that’s gone now and so is everything I left there. I’m happy here but not settled; not in a positive rut. If there were some way that I could repay the kindness, love, generosity, patience and understanding which has been afforded me here, I would do so. I don’t have the financial means however and no amount of money could pay for the salvation which I’ve received here from the host family, my wife and closest friends.

So I wondered what I could do to leave some sort of legacy. I have a few gifts lined up for those who have cared for me and I do try to pay my way in kind by cooking and helping out, whilst not getting under feet or treading on toes. I’ve taught lessons; I’ve taught maths and English; I’ve taught poker and I’ve tried to teach cookery but when you make it up as you go along – as I do – it’s difficult to pass on recipes which don’t exist. I’ve thought about publishing a separate food blog but as my days here are numbered (I checked a calendar and the days really are numbered), I figured I’d just add a new category and publish recipes as I make them up (and try and test them by actually cooking them), either as stand alone entries or highlighted within posts if I have other shit to talk about. So as recently as this morning, there was none of the love-it-or-hate-it spread to put on toast and have with my coffee, so I made my own (spread, not coffee).

My style in the kitchen is some sort of combination of Keith Floyd (I drink and smoke), Heston Blumenthal (I fuck about with food) and Gordon Ramsay (I swear a lot); possibly with a bit of Marco Pierre White and Michel Roux Jr. thrown in (everyone wants to fuck me and I do good French).

We’ll call it the Drink, Smoke, Fuck Cookbook. It goes with the personal business venture I’m pursuing. Here’s a recipe, a kind of Marmite / Bovril hybrid, which spread thinly on toast with plenty of butter, really works (I had test diners):


2 heaped teaspoons beef gravy granules
1/2 teaspoon English mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar


Find the fucking house
Roll a cigarette
Smoke the cunt
See if the cunts are in
Find the fucking kitchen
Find the fucking garden
Ask the cunts if it’s okay to smoke
Smoke a fucking cigarette
Find the cunts’ booze
Drink it
Continue to smoke, drink and swear whilst fucking about and making things up as you go along


Place the gravy granules in a suitable receptacle: a glass, cup or jug will do; an envelope, shirt pocket or bath probably won’t
Boil a kettle. More precisely, boil some water in a kettle and pour the boiling water onto the gravy granules whilst stirring for a very thick consistency. The spoon should stand up in the gravy
Add the mustard, sugar and salt after about a minute and stir the whole thing together
Leave overnight in the fridge to achieve a thickness similar to that of Marmite
Spread very thinly on buttered toast and wonder. Wonder if it’s Marmite or Bovril

And the sole trader business? I feel it could go well. Something to do with food perhaps, which suits my temperament. I’m back in white laces, wearing the apron or chefs whites, which may conceal red braces.

I may be starting again. Soon.

18.42 Epilogue

Back to the kitchen to finish tonight’s dinner (recipe to follow), then to continue reading The Guardian and Observer (appropriate titles now I think about it as both apply to me: I look after and watch people) and play some poker later. Tonight will most likely be online as my natural sister (a natural at poker, whom I normally play live) isn’t here today.

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