Some sad news this morning may be the kick up the arse I’ve needed to look after myself a bit better. I’ve enjoyed the past two years, made great new friends and been to some cool venues but I must say I’ve let myself go a bit in a stubborn defiance of accepting I’m middle aged now. Time to get healthy n active again on a proper basis , let’s face it…. none of us know when we won’t get chance anymore.
It’s also made me realise just how precious family and friends are. We should cherish every moment we have with those we love, and embrace every second we are alive for the better no matter the weather.
Been thinking about all the mistakes I’ve made in life. Not just the adult ones but also the mistakes from year dot. Been weighing up what sort of kid I was. I was bullied but in the cold light of day I also bullied. Maybe to tilt the balance as I wouldn’t say I was genuinely evil at heart and not sure anyone else would. My kind of bullying was more winding up than physical assault. There was a few occasions where I ended up hurting people physically but these were never intentional, just pranks or reactions that went wrong. If I could relive life these are the things I would prevent.Mel, Craig, Daryl, Emma. My apologies to you all I will carry the guilt to my grave.
However, life never gave me many great breaks. People often say its a kop out when you blame somebody else but I largely hold my mother responsible as she brought me up. Seemed to be living some twisted 1940s role play all through the eighties. She wouldn’t go out to work and would rather live of a tiny child benefit. Surely that was to be used for the child right? Clues in the title. Mind you , she screwed her daughters out of inheritances so why not me out of child maintenance. She screwed up my chance of going to college, and also threatened to get rid of my dog if I moved back to Kent. Also stung me for the final years Council Tax bill on the house I grew up in.
When I finally did manage to get away at age 23, I’d become Gill’s house share. The first couple of years were alright, but in hindsight Gill and many of the people I socialised with through her did my self confidence much good. The very soonest I should have moved out (although I shouldn’t have moved in with her in the first place) was 2003. She was the type of person would would press you in to taking her advice. If it went ok she would take all the credit, if it didn’t she wouldn’t even say ‘sorry’ but give you the old “You have your own mind its not my problem” routine. Then of course in 2005 she went back to work after many years benefit grasping. It was like she was the only person that had ever worked. It would take her 25 minutes to tell a five minute anecdote of that days labour. (Yes, I timed it) Even her own friends and family stopped visiting as much as she just became so boring to speak to.
Eventually the time would come to move out of Birchwood Avenue. That’s the night I knew I had to move away from Gill. The new house on Abingdon Avenue would have a few extra rooms. As a keen gardener I mentioned this night that I would love to keep some house plants in the conservatory. Under her breath I heard her mutter “you fucking wont”. I asked ‘What?’ and she shook her head in denial she had spoke. I knew for certain I…or rather my income… was simply being used to keep her living independently. I worked every last bit of overtime I could to get the debts her ‘career advice’ put me in paid off. It would take four years before I could make this move by which time tolerance was at breaking point. I was paying for half a house and was confined to two tiny rooms, one of which she hijacked for her friend to stay in and even having the nerve to unplug Ramona’s vivarium for a full week to get a bed in there. (I know she also let guests sleep in my bed when I wasn’t there. I was angry beyond angry…my sister bought me that bed from new)
So here I am… now living in a lodge style house I could never have dreamed of living in… at the same price, with 2 lovely large rooms of my own, a cellar, scullery, pantry etc. It’s like Cluedo lol. The guys I share with can get quite loud but I don’t mind, because not once have they tried to encroach my agreed living space, nor have I been made to feel bad in myself, ugly or taken for granted. Real friends that help get me by. As long as this continues, I am a happy Jam indeed.
Saw an old homeless guy in the subway today playing an unrecognisable tune on a harmonica. I slipped him a coin for which he was very greatful and the smile he gave was the most genuine id seen in a long time….if a little toothless. It made me wonder how much people actually give as they walk by, and what is a fair amount if we put aside the saying ‘beggars cant be choosers’.
To begin with i think copper coinage id pretty useless. Not only is it difficult to find anything which costs a penny or two, but shops also reserve a legal right to refuse over 20p in copper coinage. I pissed a bus driver off doing just that in my schooldays, luckily i successfully appealed to his better nature. 5 pence coins are capped as well and awkward to carry around due to their size. Who wants to be weighed down by a pocketful of five p’s? So tens and twentys? Hmmm, these seem more respectable but youd need quite a few before you could buy anything like food or a drink at a cafe. Could try the pound shop but if you need something warm on a cold day youd be buggered. I figured anything from 50 pence or above is fair and practical in this day and age. Youd only need six 50p coins three times a day to eat relatively well. 18 generous people out of the hundreds that pass you by. Of course ill give whatever i can spare, but i see a fifty pence piece or above as a realistic offering in 2015.
Incidentally…. I gave this guy a one pound coin.