Homeless

I feel very empty today. Someone said, ‘have a good weekend’, to me in an email; I replied that I used to look forward to weekends, but one day seems very much like another now.

There’s nothing to do. I can’t do my art work, or at least I have no inclination. I certainly can’t play the piano or my classical guitar  – badly as I’ve said before – due to acute tendinitis in my right arm; in any case if I started playing just for 10 minutes a day, soon I would be in agony in both arms and hands, as well as suffering neck and shoulder pain (that’s what puts me off PAINting). I don’t feel like writing any more about the book wot I wroteded. I’m sick of iplayer and youtube; there’s nothing to read. I’ve got a serious case of boredom.

I also feel very let down because despite me giving 2 week’s notice, the carer, who was supposed to be accompanying me to my urgent heart scan, says she now has a dental appointment, and there’s no other carer free. I’ll have to ask my 74 year old friend to do so, and that doesn’t seem fair. Bless him, he’s helped me so much over the years and I’d be lost without him, but he continually talks and gets into my ‘personal space’, which makes my anxiety really bad, so a whole afternoon with him and I’ll be on the verge of insanity!

I’m sick of being ill too; no hope ever again of having any kind of ‘life’. I really am a ‘useless eater’; of use to no one, not even to myself.

So yes, I feel despondent, totally fed up. I don’t see the point of existence one jot.

When I get like this however, I try the old fashioned way of ‘counting my blessings’. When you’re exasperated you can’t always see what those blessing are straight away. it takes some kind of jolt to your system to make you stop feeling so sorry for yourself.

One thing I meditate on is that for now I have a roof over my head. I read this article in the Guardian today that make me think on that:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/24/homeless-young-people-sleeping-on-night-buses-as-housing-crisis-deepens

It’s nothing new that the homeless have been sleeping on the night buses in London, but it’s kind that the New Horizon Youth Centre have been handing out tickets to those for whom they can’t find hostel placements.

Why is that? Why aren’t there any hostel places? Well, you only have to type that into a search engine and you’ll find pages about how many hostels have shut since 2010; for example:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/closure-of-city-ymca-hostel-is-mammoth-blow-to-young-7314703.html

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/rough-sleepers-to-lose-their-beds-as-west-end-hostels-are-closed-due-to-cuts-9406757.html

http://www.thepavement.org.uk/stories.php?story=1927

The above is only a few of a selection, translating to perhaps over a thousand beds lost, probably much more if you carried on researching it. In fact the figure for homelessness – literally sleeping out on the street, not those in B&Bs – was around 2000 people last May 2014; more than half of those were new cases, people who had never slept rough before (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/2000-homeless-on-the-streets-of-london-9309844.html). It goes without saying that the reason for such a dramatic rise is due to government policy, and soon when under 21s aren’t able to claim housing benefit, that number will most likely rise again.

I slept rough for a short while down in Bournemouth in the late 70s after ‘running away’ whilst on holiday with my family. It was this time of year, and very warm in the day, but at night, I could put all the clothes over me that I had, and I was still freezing cold. I’ve never been so scared in all of my life, feared of being assaulted. But I can’t imagine what it would be like to cope in winter time, and it’s one of the factors in why rough sleeper have shorter lives than compared to the general population.

So I’ll try and kick myself up the backside, and be grateful that I do have a roof over my head and I have food to eat; that I’m basically safe and secure in my home. I feel like I’m caged, but at least I’m not homeless. There but for the grace of God and all that.

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