Sunday 21 November 2010

Thursday 17 December 2009

Getting the balance wrong.

All it takes is one drug addict/alcoholic/person who 'forgets' to take his medication/recently released prisoner/illegal immigrant/recently divorced person with an attitude/religious crank/lonely and invaraiably boring person/vindictive man/vindictive woman/person with poor personal hygiene/food thief/gossip monger/pseudo intellectual bore/young person kicked out by his or her parents/long term tenant who thinks it is their house/student who thinks drugs are cooler than studying/etc etc etc and the delicate balance of harmony is shattered.

Getting the balance right.

I once lived in a so called 'Best house', the landlords owned three properties and explained they put all the 'rubbish' in the worst house, the in betweens (I presume) in their second house and as I was one of the 'decent' ones, I found myself sharing with the previously mentioned teenage hot head, someone who appeared to be permanently drunk, some unemployed person who had been studying an Open University course for so long presumably to improve his employment prospects that he probably started when the original 4am BBC2 broadcasts were first shown and somebody else who (wait for it) was also unemployed and was 'having a few problems'. I fitted in quite well and by bedsit standards they were quite 'normal' people.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

I know people.

Some people in bedsits think they have contacts who can kneecap you, trouble is the cost of a hit man job is a lot more than their giros and their disposable income wouldn't even pay for a black eye, I nod sagely and prepare myself for another bout of delusion whenever I hear these words.

Electrical cuts.

Some of the best people to share with are contractors, they come to this area from all over UK and use bedsits as a kind of place to get their heads down after a hard days work, some go home a couple of nights during the week but for those from further afield they work all week, come home, have something to eat, watch a bit of TV, maybe go for a couple of pints and a game of pool and after finishing work on Friday usually go home and return late sunday night, they are usually decent, hard working people and easy to get along with. One of them I lived with was spot on, a typical Glaswegian (if there is such a thing) and I got on with him immediately, he was an old hand at bedsit life, after a few days he bought a second hand fridge/freezer and stocked it full of food, being wise to certain things, he took the precaution of fitting locks to the doors and went home one friday safe in the knowledge that he had a week of decent meals to look forward to the following week, the landlord had other ideas: upon seeing this fridge, he announced it was 'using up too much electricity' and promptly cut the cable and threw the plug away, judging by the sounds I heard on the sunday night, one Glaswegian contractor was very unimpressed to find his food had gone off, I can't exactly recall what he said to the landlord but there were one or two choice words thrown in, personally I thought it was an abysmal way to treat a decent tenant.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

A festive message.

Christmas is coming, I once spent Christmas alone in a bedsit, I wasn't in a relationship at the time and my family have never been best buddies. It actually wasn't that bad, I could sit and watch all the old films, the local spar shop was open so I could stock up with a few beers, I had the place to myself and found out a local pub was open if you used a back entrance, I had a couple of pints, helped myself to their buffet and went home reasonably well oiled and watched a bit more TV. The following year I was with someone so I spent the day round her house stuffed myself with mince pies, played with her kids toys ( I don't care what anyone says, give any adult a scalectrix and he's well away) and late on boxing day after watching the football results, I decided to 'check' on the bedsit, nothing had happened in my absence but I got talking to the 80 odd year old widow who lived next door who spent her Christmas like every other day alone, I returned to my cozy little life feeling a little guilty, how quickly we forget.

Monday 14 December 2009


I must have been lucky, the violence I witnessed was never directed against me, being of at least average intelligence, I learned to play the 'grey man', stay neutral, keep myself to myself and avoid a scene, it's a survival tip/defence mechanism and I managed OK, others didn't and I saw people beaten up for the most trivial reasons, usually it was caused by boredom.