No not me – although such a condition is not unknown.
Now then, what’s he on about now I hear you all wonder and believe me there are a good few of you who seem to be rather interested in my ‘blogging’ meanderings. I’m sill trying to work out why but there we are, as I’ve said before there’s no accounting for taste is there?
Right, ‘Homeless in Norwich’.
Many years ago I was working in the cathedral city, as to how I ended up in Norwich, well that’s another story, actually it comes into a novel to be published over the next year or so, ‘The Silver Songsters’ (see Website) – just thought I’d get that in, no harm in some self-serving publicity now and again is there? Everyone else seems to be at it these days, albeit that I’m just a scribbling Mr Nobody and not an intellectually challenged ‘celebrity’ cook, gardener or ageing old trollop trying to dance the light fantastic in the hope that her synthetic arse (not to mention face) will be remembered unto eternity.
Anyway, here’s the yarn and it’s true.
Most evenings I used to walk home from the office, which was situated in the city centre. Now you may or may not know, that Norfolk is decidedly flat. And by God I mean flat, it could insult a cast iron pancake which is why I’m not using the oft quoted simile.
It’s a great place to ride a bike though, if you’re into extreme sports that is, but be that as it may, as you know the only sporting activity I ever indulge in is the lifting of my right arm, although I have to say that even a glass and a ciggy are beginning to feel a bit weighty these days, it’s an age thing I’m told…… So, Norwich is flat and I’m on my way home, yes I know what on earth is so exciting about a flat cathedral city, well hold on and bear with me.
I remember, it was winter time. The North Sea was in one of its more hateful moods as a cruel wind tried to bite chunks out of my face and make damn certain that I spend more of my precious earnings on some clothy protection. Each night I would walk, rant and spit deadly curses at a wind that seemed to despise the human race – well that’s understandable I hear some of you say, serves you right!
Well now, I might have been angry and seriously annoyed at the weather but it didn’t stop me walking passed this rather desperate looking chap with a sign hanging from his neck saying ‘Hungry and Homeless’. In fact I used to drop a pound coin or two into his tin cup on a regular basis, not that he ever beamed a ‘Thank you’ at me the ingrate, but there we are, one doesn’t give with conditions attached so who was I to complain, besides I had a roof over my head and a full belly, he had neither, poor bugger.
So this went on for a couple of months, me dropping some coins into a tin cup and walking off feeling thoroughly self-righteous etc etc, actually my generosity of spirit seemed to lighten my windy load oddly enough, which at the time merited the odd cheeky wink at the heavens and a few ‘Hail Mary’s’ – not that I’m a Catholic but you get my point.
As I say, this went on for a couple of months until one fine day there was a bit of a commotion in the office. One of my female colleagues rushed into my room in a state of panic and fear. ‘Julian! Julian! Quick! You have to do something! The man is going berserk ! He’s being evicted from his flat and he’s blaming us for God’s sake!’
I walked out of my room and who should be standing there before me but the ‘homeless’ fellow with the tin cup!
PS You know, I did eventually manage to prevent his eviction and I didn’t tell the District Judge about his tin cup either. Frankly, I couldn’t help but smile at his audacity – a man after my own heart perhaps??
PPS Oh and my office had had nothing to do with the possession proceedings before any of you Guardian readers start. You can blame Norwich City Council!