On Tuesday 1st October my life changed in a subtle way. With just twenty days to go before i reach the mature age of 43 i became homeless. My house that i had lived in for 9 years exchanged for a less than princely sum to be ‘tinned up’ and placed on ‘housing death row’ (one of 4 remaining) in the Edge Hill Redevelopment scheme.
There was nothing i could do, i couldn’t hold out any longer – it had taken all my strength and dignity to get to where i was on that upsetting day. I was born on a Tuesday. I lost one of my dogs on a Tuesday. I lost a lover on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are always a great day for me.
Hence, I left Winifred Street forever and prepared myself (well, thought i had) to a life on the road.
I’m still adjusting.
I’m pretty much free as can be though.
And i’ve decided to document as much of it as i can with a view to A. becoming a travel writer / columnist and B. remembering my tentative steps into Nomad’s Land.
Thus, the first night was particularly distressing and disorienting and yet liberating and ending up as a party at a friends’ house, well, my fellow futurejack band member’s home to be precise. Me and the dogs (for those of you who don’t know me, i have two dogs, a bitch and a boy and they’re pretty darn well as full of character as a four-legged friend can be), anyway, we were welcomed with warmth and cheer and offered shelter for our first two nights.
Then i was given a reprieve and offered an outer city flat to ‘guard’ whilst a friend was away in Scotland (The Isle of Skye) planting trees. 8 days grace! me and the dogs were pretty lucky, the flat, although a wee bit cold, was gorgeous – had a massive back garden (although there were poison pellets placed around the vegetation and flower beds to stop the slugs and i think it was this that caused my little Lhasa Apso to have a very dodgy eye for 48 hours) but he recovered and we had a lovely time with a beautiful wild park two minutes down the lane and over the road! In these early days of acclimatizing to nomadic wanderings i drank quite a bit, smoked more than i have in a good long while and found myself to be lacking in patience and being irked by ‘small talk’ from anyone who was asking after my welfare. There were also grumblings of anger and aggression welling up in me. Hmmmmm i could recognise these traits that i had not seen in more than a decade. Dangerous ground for me. And all of these days took me up to Tuesday 15th October where, after rehearsing with my band, i decided to kip in the van with the dogs and then get off on my own thereafter for a few days, maybe til after my birthday on the 21st. too many friends have been asking what I’m doing for my birthday – offering me parties and drinks and socializing – but i have done that all year and I’m feeling like i want to be alone.
So on Wednesday 16th i drove to Shropshire to look at a motorhome. I’d been watching it for some time on e-bay – you see it’s my choice now to live on the road for a while, go visit cities across the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and then on to Europe, and hopefully take the band with me on occasion as to when we’re gigging and/or touring … always keeping Liverpool as a base, cos it does hold some splendid memories for me. Well the motorhome i looked at, hmmmm, not really impressed and the thing that told me most not to purchase from this person was that they hadn’t even made the effort to clean the interior and when i went to have a closer look at the memory foam mattress sleeping area, there on top of the crumpled duvet was an even more crumpled pair of male boxer shorts … urgggggg – absolutely the last thing that would entice one to buy … there were old biscuit wrappers on the dashboard, some leaking in the shower room (which the guy said was down to the window being left open, a blatant lie, my detective skills told me it was something worse because the leaking water was coloured brown) and on top of this there were a couple more tell-tale signs that this seller didn’t have the same standards as I when it comes to a parting of ways with your assets. So i left the guy with a firm handshake and told him I’d think about it.
After that i was tired. I had been driving a lot and not sleeping as well as usual and i just wanted a reprieve, to get a shower and clean of my grime and also to be able to rest my head in a comfy bed for the night. I stopped at a Travel Lodge near the M54 Telford. I was hoping for a good start to my journeys but the guy behind the desk was crap. Without compassion, he said they didn’t allow dogs unless another £20 per dog was paid on top of the room rate and that they wouldn’t have them in this particular night anyway because of the workmen on site and the painting going on and when i said ok I’d leave them in the van he said ‘no, don’t do that, the police will be called’ – so, i spun on my Wellington boot heel and retreated (still in need of a pee – but luckily my pelvic floors kick in when i ask of them).