This ‘living in a house’ business is not for me!

That’s my lot, I’m moving out. Stupid people are difficult to overcome because you can’t reason with them, and you have to stoop to their level to fight them, which leaves your self-esteem battered. The manager of the house has clearly got some serious emotional issues, and as she’s failed miserably to make me want her, she’s attacking me at every step of the way. The house is falling apart and I called the council out who took numerous photos, checked the basement and said it was a severe fire hazard, and said the sealed windows were in fact illegal. Wall paper is hanging off the walls, all my lights in the bedroom have stopped working but no sign of them being fixed and we’ve constantly got buckets all over the conservatory floor because of the leaks. There’s so much childish drama it’s unreal and the Dutch and Russian women stay out of the way now, so I’ve got no-one with a brain to chat to.

It wasn’t just any house, it was this house that put me off living indoors again and the people in it, and the state of Wisbech town which obviously I need to visit for shopping etc.

Wisbech park
Wisbech park

This is the entrance to the pretty little park. You can see Eastern Europeans drinking here at 8 am on sunny days. The corner of the park is their toilet. They have never hassled me or interfered with me in any way, but it’s just not nice to see them. Even the girls who hang out there simply hitch their skirts up and hang their bums over the kerb to pee. Anyway, the van is packed, I’m setting off first thing in the morning. I’m actually really excited to be going back on the road 🙂 Whahoooooo….here I come!!

Still living in a house

I’m still here! But have to say not enjoying it now. Some of the personal reasons I wanted to come off the road for a while have been resolved and my friends don’t visit now due to the mafia scandal. Speaking of which, they almost caught him so he has moved out taking the Lithuanian girl with him. No-one knows where they’ve gone.

The house manager is acting bizarrely: continually making new silly rules up and challenging us for daft things. She refuses to call my dog Jack using Jackson instead, and constantly tells me to stop looking at her cos I don’t stand a chance with her. I would rather have sex with a soapy sponge than her!

Another Russian has moved in, and she has her sights firmly set on becoming involved with one of her supervisors at work. Apparently the mafia will leave her alone if she does…

Three ancient buildings in Wisbech have been burned down over the last few weeks. Some say they were insurance jobs, some say it was the mafia as protection wasn’t paid. Who knows. Two of them were listed so maybe it was a way of getting them out of the way to redevelop?

Wisbech market square, which sometimes smells of stale urine
Wisbech market square, which sometimes smells of stale urine 

I was sitting in Wisbech market square today with a sandwich. It was market day and the sun was out and it was really nice. Except the stench of stale urine was overpowering. It’s such a lovely little market town but that’s not the first time I’ve smelled pee, and not the first time I’ve seen groups of East Europeans getting drunk in the public gardens at 8 am. There have been a couple of stabbings in town lately and one guy who was beaten to death, so the town is off limits for me now.

 

Living in a house

It’s been just over a month since I moved into this house in Wisbech. I’m loving getting around town on my bike, which is very easy to do. My friends pop round occasionally too which is nice. The Russian woman who is always drunk or on drugs has emotionally adopted Jack. They can almost always be found on an evening sitting in the garden cuddling each other. Jack of course loves the attention so he’s like a pig in shit! The woman, who is about 22, clearly gets a lot from it so I leave them to it. Her ‘boyfriend’ is a married bloke in his 60’s who met her in Russia when he was working there as an engineer. He pays for her room and her keep, and her booze…

Another Lithuanian has moved in and there’s a story about him. So the east Europeans say, whoever leaves their country does so usually through an agency. The agency is part set up by the “mafia” and anyone who gains work here must pay them quite a large sum of money every month, or risk severe punishment. This lad won’t pay and so far he’s been run off the road once, and several men have been round looking for him on an evening. Two each stand at the two gates to the property while one comes to the door. We’ve been told they will never involve themselves with us, just other Lithuanians. Some medical and other belongings of one person were dumped at the door one night in a carrier bag. It seems he was beaten so badly he not only had broken bones, but also several internal injuries. What a world we live in.

My 'office' doors
My ‘office’ doors

Anyway, things are going well, I enjoy the company of the people, including the Dutch girl who is a scientist for Pedigree foods here. Very chatty and intelligent girl so we get along very well. The house manager is very odd. She often wanders around on an evening in just knickers and tights and a T shirt. The first time I saw her I looked twice and she turned to me and said “You can look but not touch.” As she’s about as sexy as a box of dead frogs sauteed in dog vomit I just smiled and continued my book.

Because of the mafia visits my friends have stopped coming round saying they are frightened. That’s a bit of a bummer, but hey ho. I find it slightly odd living here. Shopping for weeks ahead, hoovering daily, making  a bed, always having other people around. It’s not distasteful, just odd. I’ve made friends with the ‘Govt man’ next door and he’s actually alright. I can’t see why they all dislike him yet.

Home is where the heart is?

For various reasons I have decided to rent a room in an old mansion house in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. It’s been very grand in the past, but sadly it’s falling apart now as it hasn’t really been looked after. The grounds are overgrown and the house is neglected. Nevertheless it’s still a nice enough place to rent, and the huge gardens means Jack can live in a kennel in the gardens during the day and in my room with me during the night.

This is a view of my rooms windows from the drive:

The Mount
The Mount

It used to be a recording studio the owners proudly informed me, with the likes of Sting and U2 recording there. They point to boxy art on one of the walls as evidence, although there isn’t really any evidence that it was used as a recording studio but that’s irrelevant anyway. What’s more interesting is that the guy who lives next door spent most of his life ‘working for the government’ in Russia. He dislikes the house and the people in it I am told and the owner Mary dislikes him. No idea why, it all sounds quite petty to me.

Anyway, here’s a view of my room:

My room at the Mount
My room at the Mount

You can see the stripey boxes I was talking about which are remnants of the soundproofing apparently. It’s large enough and light and airy. Which is just as well as the lights are unreliable. All of the windows on the ground floor are sealed shut. Apparently this was to prevent people who rented a room opening their windows at night to let other people in. I’m sure it is a major fire safety hazard but I’ve already spent a morning unsealing one of the sash windows in my room.

The garden
The garden

This photo is taken just at the top of the drive with my windows on the left. You can see Jack’s new kennel at the foot of the beech tree. £40 it cost me *mutter mutter*
The beech tree is awesome and the garden has a few spotlights to show it off at night. These don’t work of course, like a lot of things lol

Never mind. It’s all bills including internet and I have a little ‘office’ on one side of the house with French doors opening onto the garden, so it’s a lovely environment for working in.  Also there’s a short drive in front of the garage where I can park the camper, so all is well.

So far there’s a woman running from her abusive husband living there with her 14 year old daughter, a Russian woman who is usually either drunk or on drugs but causes no bother, a Lithuanian woman who is painfully gorgeous to look at and a pleasant enough person to chat to too, a young local man who’s recently split with his wife and the woman who manages the place for the owner, who is recently escaped from a cult who used to abuse her. So, a canny mix of people then!

The kitchen is enormous and 3 people can cook a full meal easily without getting in each others way, and the conservatory is large with lots of furniture so tends to be where we all hang out. Only the manager person ever watches TV which is in a sitting room large enough for 6 people. The rest of us chatter in the conservatory or the dining room which seats 8 at a push.

The conservatory
The conservatory

This is the view of the conservatory as seen from the rear of the garden. It leaks badly and is neglected, but it’s a light and airy place to meet and chat most evenings.

It’s odd being in a house again, but as it’s so big it feels better and although I’ve only been here a few days it’s OK so far. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess!

 

Jack…fetch!

I’ve just visited Houghton Mill in Cambridgeshire which is an entirely lovely location. It’s got an old mill, but it also has some lovely long riverside walks, some ponds to play in and a gorgeous little village.

Thatched roof
Thatched roof

You see the pheasant on the top of the roof in this picture? Well apparently every thatcher has his own ‘icon’. A bird, a badger, a mouse, it could be anything.

They make the icon from thatch and add it to the roof and it is in effect their business card. There are lots of thatched roofs around here and it’s sort of fun spotting which ones have been done by the same person.  Or am I just sad…I’ve also heard that during the civil war, Halifax’s supporters put certain items on their roofs, it might have been porcelain horses? Whatever is was, supposedly it indicated that this was a safe house for nay and all of Halifax’s troops.

The mill itself is set in a huge parkland and for once I was on a campsite: very nice it was too. I was walking Jack around the park environs and I was gobsmacked when he chased a goose not just to the lake, but into it! It was beating it’s wings furiously at him and he was swimming so strongly that I knew he was actually going to get the goose. Just then a bloke came in with some small children so I had to call him off. It was good for the goose, and the gander lol

Anyway a little later on a woman stopped me looking quite perturbed. “Can you help me please!” she said and in an instant I looked around for some form of threat, thinking she had been chased or something. She had 2 small lads with her though who seemed quiet but fine. “The kids ball has gone into the river, can your dog fetch it for me please?”

I stared at her, then looked in the river and sure enough, about 40 feet away the ball was bobbing in the rushes by the opposite bank. Now my dog is about 14 inches long, which is about the same as the ball! I almost laughed at her thinking, he couldn’t even fit it in his mouth. I was also thinking how do you tell a dog to fetch the ball that is 40 feet away in the rushes across a flowing river? I could see she was desperate but come on…she hadn’t thought this through lol

Anyway to the rescue came a girl on a board of some kind, and she asked the girl if she could get it.

Ball saver!
Ball saver!

The girl was happy to oblige, and here she is, on her knees, on her board, paddling furiously to rescue a stranded football. A cheer rose in my throat.

That’s Houghton Mill in the background by the way, and if you’re ever that way it’s a lovely location if you know how to enjoy yourself, rather than needing to be spoon fed entertainment. Fantastic picnic venue but when by the river, look after your balls!