Exactly 10 years ago today I sold my house in Brighton, making what at the time was a staggering profit of exactly £100,000 and placed all my belongings into a large van and drove to Liverpool, moving from a smallish 4 storey house in the central Brighton area to a fucking huge Victorian villa overlooking the river Mersey. Work was OK, the economy was strong, I hated Brighton and felt homesick for the north - and I have always loved Liverpool - for one reason or another I'd been there almost every weekend for a year anyway, and I decided it was easier to be based up there than it was to remain in Brighton. I honestly thought things were looking up. Obviously 10 years is a long time and things never go to plan. The strange thing was that almost immediately - I became desperately homesick for Brighton - almost overnight I forgot all the things I disliked about the South Coast and started to wonder if it was possible to buy my old house back - the very first night in Liverpool I'd bought some milk at the corner shop and, because everything was packed away - drank from the bottle - the milk was so rotten it dropped out of the bottle and into my mouth in a solid, acrid lump - it must have been an omen. Over the next 4 years I made a lot of good friends, had a short and fairly disastrous relationship with someone who spent a lot of my money, and a long and very serious relationship with someone I now speak to occasionally in short, stilted, pointless emails that upset me more than I can explain. I also had a raft of family and personal problems that I really didn't see coming - and the economy began to falter - costing me many of my clients. After 4 years my mother died ( she was close by - one of the reasons I moved ), a deeply upsetting experience watching your parent wither away in horrible pain and suffocate with pneumonia. Her last words were 'I'm frightened'. I sold the house and moved back down south. For the last 10 years I've been keeping an online journal of one form or another - mostly just ramblings and vague notes about the weather - and now I find myself transformed from a generally happy 30 something with a good outlook on life - to a tired, irritable 47 year old with no patience and grumbling, oppressive sense of failure and injustice. However - I'm still here. Mostly.
By coincidence - a very old friend from London bought a house here and moved in yesterday - mirroring my experience by exactly 10 years, I went round last night - the house is huge - he bought the biggest thing he could afford with the intention of renting rooms if things got difficult - a wise move. He actually bought it from friends of mine, an odd coincidence.
I was in the Salvation Army shop yesterday, I found a beautiful mohair mans suit - late 60's style, would probably fit me perfectly - I made the mistake of examining the trousers, a large fungal fruiting body had taken hold of the entire groin area. A friend who has worked in charity shops explained to me later that it was a common occurrence and that was why there were so many jackets and very few suits, trousers generally don't pass the fungus test.
I'm still waiting to be paid. A brown envelope revealed to me what I already knew - I will not be able to pay my tax bill at the end of January - and I'm going to request that I have my bill reduced on account, I have no idea how I manage any more - I never get through the day without a bill of some kind arriving, or some unexpected expense. I broke my glasses, and am wearing them sellotaped together - I knew this would happen, despite them costing £200 they felt cheap and feeble - next time I'll have to buy something more robust, which means even more money.
The sandblasters are working outside the office window again - that's 3 weeks solid.
Read about the Sattchi / Lawson trial thing yesterday - brought back too many memories of working for very rich people. No matter how nice they are, when people become rich they abandon their moral compass and become monsters. It's just a simple fact.
Actually - I'm in quite a good frame of mind recently - I'm gearing up to going back to being vegetarian after xmas, not that I eat much meat anyway, but I'll feel better in myself if I do. All that running and exercise has made me feel physically better - except my feet, I have the most crippling case of pitted keratolysis you can imagine and am in constant pain - despite trying everything I possibly can to resolve it.
The knackered house at the end of my road has sold - it's almost certainly gone to a developer - it needs major works and probably went for far less than the asking price. When it's been restored - it will change the whole street, in fact... my house will probably be the shabbiest. The works on the new Tesco in Ore Village are coming along nicely - can't wait for that to open - will change everything - and then the Aldi will open after Xmas and further reduce my bills, whilst raising my property prices and improving my view ( I don't like looking out towards the South Downs with a big, orange B&Q shed in the middle distance.
I'm in limbo a bit at the moment - waiting for jobs to either come in or be told that they are going somewhere else - so I'll spend today tying up lose ends. I went through a lot of long forgotten online stuff over the weekend and found all the archives of every picture I've posted on blogs - over 4000, I remember every one.