Monday, 22 August 2011

Back Home

My jetlag was F.O.U.L.

I fought the desire to sleep at 2pm, knowing I would potentially not wake up until midnight and then be unable to get back to sleep for another 24 hours. I also realised that being 40 and not 20 means that the herniated disc-inducing nightmare journey from Mexico had actually made me quite sick and it took me about 2 days to recover.

My step father lent me his bicycle which unfortunately is made for those long, leisurely jaunts around the countryside as it has those fiddly pedal toe clips that aren’t meant to take the toe end of police issue Magnums.

So, after buckling the plastic and nearly coming a cropper while trying to reinsert my foot on a couple of occasions we just removed them completely.

Started looking for a flat but it proved harder than when I was back here in 2000.

First of all the Labour government in their cuntish desire to fix everything that wasn’t broken decided to “empower tenants” in rented property. This effectively meant that direct payments of housing benefit to landlords and housing agencies was stopped in favour of going directly to the rent payer.

This was a misguided attempt by some twat at Whitehall to make certain that if Sheriff Fatman is refusing to fix the leaky guttering then Ethel Ramsbottom can withhold his money until he does.

Problem with this is that the majority of people on housing benefit are the kind that have no desire to work and will spend it on Stella and humongous flat screen TVs. True to the laws of cause and effect, landlords are now MUCH more shy of taking on the unemployed and I was met by smiling yet poker faced estate agents in the posh row on Hamilton Terrace (the equivalent of Fleet Street or Saville Row in Leamington Spa…but for real estate) who told me I had to put 6 months rent down as deposit and a month up front.

One woman was none too impressed by my response of “what do you expect me to do? Whore myself around Whitnash?!!”

I then found a cheaper agent run by Sikhs just into the No Man’s Land beyond the iron bridge at the bottom of town. Woman booked me an appointment for 12pm to view a flat on the following Monday and at the designated time a bloke turned up with two kids in tow.

I walked towards him smiling and want “alright mate. You flat one? I’m here for the viewing”.

He glared at me with a mixture of disbelief and anger and said very slowly in front of his two pre-teen sons “I didn’t know I was being evicted. Have you been in my house?!! If you set foot in my property without my permission I will use FORCE to evict you”.
I tried to explain the situation but he kept talking over me until I went “HANG ON!!!” and showed him the business card from the agency which clearly stated “flat one”.

He rang his landlady and handed the phone to me. She was very apologetic and explained it was in fact flat TWO I was here to see and not to mind the tenant of the other flat as he “is very nice but gets a bit funny sometimes” (i.e. Care In The Community, bi-polar, borderline psycho).

The funny chap then sheepishly tried to be nice and showed me around the communal areas before shaking my hand like a lemon squeezer and said he looked forward to being my neighbour.

Went down the agency and got the Sikh son of the woman who’d booked the viewing who was an arrogant, gum chewing gobshite. He claimed he’d phoned my mobile to confirm I was coming but got “some woman who didn’t understand me and sounded foreign” (?!!)

As I’d left the phone at home this sounded plausible until I actually checked it 2 hours later to see there were no missed calls. He then arranged to meet me back at the property in one hour and showed me around a tiny, dingey shithole that was 400 quid per month AND he wanted 175 quid for a reference check done by a private agency. This was non-negotiable and to really rub salt in it, couldn’t be carried forward and was only valid for his poxy housing firm.

Best left alone methinks.

I had a lovely time getting hammered for just the one night only in Murphy’s bar and the Woodland Tavern, two of my favourite pubs that I haven’t set foot in in about 2 years. It was the barmaid Rachel’s birthday so cue loud cries of “fuck off! You back in town you ugly cunt?!” and insistence that I cut my hair as I was “a fucking hairy bastard”. Rachel was two pairs of knickers to the wind by the time I saw her at 8pm so I assume she had a good time and a hangover straight from Satan’s arse the next morning. Met my mate Kevin’s new girlfriend who was telling me lots of stories and then dropped the bombshell that her son had a serious, life threatening illness.

I partially sobered up and looked at her, realising the gravity of what she had just told me in the middle of lots of other stuff that had just been general drunken chat. I said slowly “err…sorry, can I just give you a hug?” and did, amazed in my drunken stupor that anyone could show that much courage and calm when talking about a son who she clearly stated she loved very much but had almost died.

Was going to stay the night on the floor in Kev’s lounge but one of his friends was very drunk and being consoled by her mates. Realising my presence was only going to exacerbate the situation I offered to walk home, taking the 30 minutes stroll from Leamington to Warwick to sober up from my first session on the piss in about 8 months.

My brother visited Plakias to see my dad this summer. I predicted a list of 12 things that might happen and it turns out at least three of them did. I got an e-mail from a friend who said Gary had been banned from the main hang out of Joe’s bar in town and found out that he’d spent the entire day getting drunk and while sitting at the bar on his own had paid, got up to leave and then suddenly turned round and started laying into people on the dance floor for no reason. It took 4 people to hold him down (he’s a big bastard and has a black belt in Judo) and someone belted him in the face to which he apparently replied “is that the best you can do?” which meant the same guy thumped him again, splitting his eye open.

He was then persuaded to leave where he stood on the front steps screaming abuse at everyone and finally went home.

My old man went down the pub the next night to see if the dust had settled and the owner said my brother was banned but added “as you have so much respect in this town we are assuming it’s not your fault” and left it at that.

I haven’t spoken to him in about 9 years and he has a major beef with both me and my mother and only talks to my dad. This incident was however a downer for me as I always believed he was righteous in his rage and only attacked people who deserved it.

I did Krav Maga in Rome for a few months which is one of the most brutal and exhausting martial arts I’ve tried. The Rome group has a website whose slogan translates into English as “expect the best” and is run by an Italian police Superintendent (equivalent of UK Inspector, US Lieutenant).

I Googled the sport in Leamington Spa and found one locally.


That is until I read the website a little closer and found out that the “about us” page has the header “as used by Jason Bourne, James Bond and Jeniffer (sic) Lopez”.

I personally get uncomfortable around self defence that teaches you to kick someone in the testicles but  markets itself on fictional characters and can’t spell J-Lo’s given name.

The riots were here to welcome me back to the UK and true to form the meddling of the last 14 years of both Labour government and the current monstrosity has resulted in the cops being decidedly “hands off” during the confrontations with Molotov cocktail hurling Chavs.

The prison sentences were ludicrous and farcical but comically enough a 70 year old who robbed from a store got a Caution while a younger guy who stole water from Lidl got 6 months.

Considering that Rupert Murdoch’s ugly bitch wife wasn’t even nicked for assaulting the pie thrower (first slap = self defence, second slap = vindictive cunt) when he was in legal custody this “zero tolerance” shit was beyond belief.

I had letters printed in various newspapers throughout the UK pointing out that it wasn’t the UK police’s fault as their own management and the Government’s meddling had led to this terror, NOT of getting hurt but of getting disciplined or even incarcerated for using “excessive force” on the various lowlifes and plebs out looting shops.

Something to be salvaged though was the sight in Sutton via CCTV of the borough commander, Chief Superintendent Guy Ferguson personally leading a baton charge against rioters (apparently the second one he’d led that night) while not wearing any riot gear and facing 50 scumbags with only about 18 cops to hold the line, some of which were Specials who had to be shown how to open their batons.

I e-mailed him following a post extolling his heroism on INSPECTOR GADGET’S blog and he replied thanking me and accepting a free copy of my book STAB PROOF SCARECROWS as a present.

I also set up a Facebook group for him called “Chief Super’ Guy Ferguson…What A Guy!” realised that sounded too sycophantic and changed it to “…Ace Rimmer of the Met”. Realised that was too obscure and not everyone would get the Red Dwarf gag or worse still, assume I was accusing him of botty licking. Tried “…Lieutenant Colonel Sharpe of the Met” before finally settling on “…Gene Hunt of the Met”.

His son, daughter and niece all requested to join it last night and he’s apparently very embarrassed but also over the moon by the publicity his actions have generated (not to mention the piss taking from his mates in the least those of similar rank).

My step brother’s 38th birthday warranted a barbecue at his mother’s house. My mother is married to his father but by some strange and happy quirk of fate, my mother and his mother get on really well, as do my step-father and his ex-wife (lost yet?)

We had a wonderful day of booze and grilled sossies punctuated by my step-nephew shouting “that sheep’s having a poo!” as one of the bored-looking flock in the field at the end of the garden started having a rather runny shit.

My step-father also owns a 1939 Rover. A beautiful car that he’s spent MANY months restoring. We took it for a spin up to Burton Dassett hills, a piece of country that I had forgotten the beauty of in the 30 or so years since I’d been there. Not wearing a seat belt was a new experience (not legally having to either as they weren’t fitted made it kind of “cool”) as was the looks and waves we got off a lot of people as we cruised along in what looked like something from “Jeeves and Wooster”.

Burton Dassett hills are utterly glorious and the small “beacon” on the top of one hill we used to call “the nose” when I was a kid as it can be seen sticking up from miles around. Lots of people flying kites and relaxing and to prove just how bloody nice the people who go there are, we met a couple who had a dog that they’d adopted from an abandoned puppy shelter…in Greece.

Today I finally sorted a flat. Above a hair salon in Leamington on Regent Street. I’m not officially “in” yet but the property has been vacant for over 2 years and has one of those card meters for leccy meaning as they don’t make the cards any more they had to change it to a new one. To score brownie points I offered to sit in the (unfurnished) flat to wait for the electrician “between 12 and 4”.

Bored out of my skull reading a book he turned up at 2.30pm to tut and say that he would have to call a Band 5 technician out (as he himself was only a paltry Band 3) to put emergency credit on the thing and then replace it completely by changing the main meter in the basement. After being on hold (to his own company, who fucked him around transferring the call) for about half an hour we established the meter was in the hairdresser’s basement and the B5 guy would have to go there to do the work.

I then had to wait again for a further 3 hours until 6.45pm when the mighty Band 5 chap showed, only for him to say he was only there for the emergency credit and the Special Forces of the Leccy board…a BAND 6 technician would phone me tomorrow to do the meter.

My arse was sore from sitting on the lounge carpet for hours reading “the Writers and Artists Yearbook 2011” so I didn’t argue.

Best quote I heard today “never trust the opinions of people you eat Christmas dinner with”.

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