I have decided, after some consideration, to retire from blogging for the foreseeable future. In a couple of weeks’ time I am, as many of you probably already know, planning to embark on a drastically different way of life, which will see me online far less than I have been in recent months and years. But even if that was not the case I think it would have come to this sooner or later, for various reasons.
Thank you all very much for reading, commenting, sharing and generally appreciating my writing over the past nearly 20 months. I feel honoured to have been able to entertain and inform you all, and I’ve had great fun and met some really cool people. I will leave the comments section, Facebook page and Twitter account open for now, so I am still contactable by means other than my personal Facebook account, but be aware that I will probably not be very swift in replying.
Special thanks goes to Lizzi, who helped to launch me into Society when I was just a blushing blogging debutante. I also want to give a shout-out to Lucy Melford, who has been one of my staunchest readers and who has contributed greatly to my comments section. Go and visit their blogs, because they’re both great writers.
After having written about how depressing the renting market is when you’re single and on benefits (here), and having decided that I was going to take to the road like the aspiring hobo I have always been deep down (here), I have made a little headway into making this drastic lifestyle change a reality. I’ve bought a bike, a tent, a 0-rated sleeping bag, an inflatable sleeping mat, a folding camp stove, a multi-tool, a magic straw that makes any water except sea water and urine drinkable, and some biodegradable soap. I’ve been going for bike rides and building up some fitness, and I am planning to go and get a rack and panniers just as soon as it stops being so ridiculously hot.
What I haven‘t done is any purging of my existing stuff.
I’m the type of guy that likes to roam around
I’m never in one place I roam from town to town
And when I find myself a-fallin’ for some girl, yeah
I hop right into that car of mine and ride around the world
Yeah I’m the wanderer, yeah the wanderer
I roam around around around around around…
(Dion – The Wanderer, 1961)
As ranted about discussed in my last post, the system for housing in this country is utterly insane. It combines sky-high prices with poor quality (of service and housing) and insecurity of tenure – surely the Big Three of bad renting experiences – every. Single. Time. Over and over again, every six months to a year (maybe two if you get really lucky), until death – or home ownership, and even that isn’t any guarantee of security these days.
I see little rhyme or reason in being a part of it any longer once this tenancy is finished. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and I may be mentally ill/injured but I’m not insane. So I have decided to opt out. I’ve been homeless before, but this time I’m embracing homelessness – and I can’t wait.
In two months’ time, I am going to have to move again. I had thought my flat, which is extremely nice and spacious and which I got by an enormous stroke of good fortune and generosity after a stint of homelessness and hostel living, was a forever home. But nothing is forever. Except, of course, for the private renting sector‘s more or less unanimous antipathy to people who claim housing benefit – or, as they still call it fifteen years after the Department of Social Security ceased to exist, DSS.