27 July, 2006

Another day but no dollars

Nothing surprises me any more. Today I went to the social security to see if I could get a loan to tied me over till I get my first weeks pay. I waited as per usual for a hour and a half to be told that I had one days income support due, which doesn’t help me in the slightest. When I tried to explain that with no money I could not get electric or gas or even food and I could not get to work. They told me to get a sub from my agency and as I had already gave them a letter which stated no subs were given this leaves me thinking that no matter what you try to do, something always holds you back. As you can guess I am in a stinking mood and tonight is my night off. I'm working four nights on and three days off. It’s not that I mind going without I am used to that but you’d think that once you get a job there would be some kind of help you can get till that first week or months pay as some people don’t get paid till the end of the month. I feel as if I have been kicked in the teeth and keep getting kicked when i'm down. Well I have this crazy idea that I can sell ten of my poetry books which will get me to work and get me all the stuff I need till next week. So if you see someone reading poetry on the South Bank in the next few days. Do not worry it’s only me going nuts. Just say hi.
I haven’t had much time to write this week, what with working and things but I hope to catch up in the next few days.

21 July, 2006

Another challenge

It’s funny but everyday that passes by I am so glad that I can remember what and where I was. Walking along by the river Thames on my way to work tonight I realised that there have been too many forgotten days where nothing much was accomplished. I think that I have changed those days of nothing, to days where something does happen. Maybe I make someone smile or help someone in some minute way but at least I am doing things. Last night I did my first hard nights work I was order picking at a large distribution firm and boy that was hard graft and I’m doing the same tonight. To me it's just another challenge to get used to working. It’s not what I want to do but it’s a job. Working for an agency sort of goes against my better judgment. If you look at it logically agencies get paid for the work you do because they found you the job and boy every hour you work the more they get. To me that’s unfair. I am strong believer in a fair days pay for a fair days work. But at least I am getting the hang of working but I have been told to stop being so happy though.
Well that’s another day over and my body is aching so it’s to bed for me. Maybe I will eventually get the job I want. I will keep on trying though as i am not the type to give in easily.

19 July, 2006

What a shame

I'm always going out late at night and talking to people that sleep rough or I'm visiting hostels during the day but nothing can prepare anyone for the sights that you sometimes see. Tonight I found a man who had soiled himself and was just lying there in the middle of the pavement, crying and blind drunk. The smell was overwhelming but it was something I thought ought to be addressed. So I got some friends of mine to get me some clothes and clean underwear from places they knew, god knows where, but they did. We got the man bathed at the local Salvation Army center and dressed him in the clothes. The saddest part is probably tomorrow or the day after things will just be the same for him.
I think that when outreach workers who where supposed to find the most vunerable were reduced to what they are they are now. The vital link that was needed to reach the homeless has now been lost and the trust that was built up between homeless organizations seems to be disappearing. Most homeless people don't trust organizations such as favorite. which is crisis because as they put it, being actually homeless has now become a secondary issue. Everyone expects something that most of us can't give and that is our time. We are just busy trying to survive from day to day. Anything more is a bonus. It's funny but I lean towards agreeing with them because although homeless charities are now searching for other means to help alleviate the homeless problem, the fact that in doing so they seem to have forgotten their intent. Their intentions are good but they seem to have lost sight of what homeless really means. It's not just that you haven't got a roof over your heads. Simply, the fact that its so soul destroying and no one gets it unless you have been there. Being homeless isn't the problem. It's the things that go with it and then when you think it's all over there's the stigma that stays glued for a quite while longer. Too really make an impact I feel that homelessness needs to be shown for what it really is and that is to show all aspects of homelessness from start to finish without the gloss over.

14 July, 2006


You hear and see things that sometimes you think how can this happen in this day and age but two nights ago I met a man called William from Bradford. He used to be an area manager managing six pubs for a local brewery. Then he had a stroke and became I suppose unemployable and life was just about manageable he was still receiving sick pay from his employer but he was finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Then he had another stroke and over the course of time things went from bad to worse. He lost his flat which was privately rented and was told by his council that he couldn't be helped so he moved and found himself in London homeless. Now he's been here for six months and still has to visit the hospital for check ups and so forth and has all the relevant documents. He went to an advice center to see about getting accommodation and was told in a round about way that because he only had a minor health problem and he could get about, it would be very difficult getting him housed or into a hostel and that if he had a drug or alcohol or even a mental health issue he could probably be found somewhere quickly. He's a diabetic as well. Which should put him on top of any list. So how ill do you have to become before you are a priority? This is the problem I am hearing about here in London. If you are just homeless it is much harder to get a place to live. The government are saying on one hand everyone entitled to have somewhere to live but it does seem there are guidelines which does not include people without problems. this to me is a great disadvantage.

Having a Jamie day

I was thinking about all the tired and glum faces that I see nearly everyday on my way to wherever I'm going. Why are people like this I sometimes think? It's not solely due to lack of sleep or sex is it? I mean I could understand it if you're not getting any(that's both)? Many a time in the morning and I have looked at them and just to be polite said good morning, how are you today and got a conversation started. It seems to me that we have lost the art of conversation. Is this because of the way society is today? Do we have this fear of what might happen? How many of us see the same people day in and day out or even sit next to the same person on the train to and from work for years and have not said one word to them? Wouldn't it be good to put a smile on someone's face by just saying good morning, nice day to day. So here's what I suggest is on your way home forget about what could happen just weigh up the situation and say what a nice day it is and if you're sitting next to the same person as per usual just say hello how was your day or just say I'm having a Jamie day. Get a conversation going. Maybe you might make a new friend? Who knows? Where all this brain wave activity of mine will lead.

Going from the ridiculous to plain daft

We must have a real good sense of humor in this country because I know I would be up in arms if I got fined for dropping a sweet in the street but it seems this not just a one off. Strange things are happening all over Britain. So if you hear of anymore please feel free to comment.
As I was saying yesterday what you can achieve with the right help are things that are literally life changing. The homeless charity crisis have an award scheme called changing lives it gives grants to people that wouldn't necessary get the help they need anywhere else. They help people with college fees or things they need to get a head start. Starting a small business which as most people know is one of the hardest things to do but thanks to the support of Barclays they have made things possible for so many people like myself who without their help I wouldn't have been able to go to college or for the man in Reading start his own gardening business. I am truly grateful for the help I received personally. When you have had nothing and suddenly you have the help and advice that's needed it can change everything about your life.

13 July, 2006


Everyone has their limits and what one person can achieve is not the same as the next because all of us are different. Knowing your own limits is one thing but achieving things beyond that is something else. When I see all the talented people that I see from day to day living on the streets I get so deflated. I know all these charities and organizations try to help the homeless by having such things as learning centers and day centers where you can go to learn or do art ect: but the question is how can they look for accommodation and learn at the same time? That's the question I am always asking. Should we have places that the homeless can go at night, just like night school say from 5pm till 9pm. When I am out at night it always seems that between these hours it's what I call a dead zone. Where nothing much happens. You see the homeless sometimes sitting on benches or in shop doorways waiting for night to fall so they can make their beds and try to get some sleep. I been there myself so I know what I am talking about. Some people think that the homeless don't want to do things for themselves but I beg to differ not only would you see a rise in the people that attend these classes but I think you would see more homeless people that were once thought to have no chance, start to show just how talented they really are. I set my self one goal when I first came of drugs and that was to be able to read and write but I have achieved much much more. Who knows what I can do? I have yet to reach my own limits. Nothing is impossible but things are just hard to get if there's no one helping.

11 July, 2006

Am I talking sense on my soap box

There are things in this world we can do and cannot. So when it comes to the things can't do why aren't trying to do them? It seems to me that we just don't seem to be able to do them or as in most cases it's too expensive. If that is the case why do we spend billions of pounds to put men on the moon but we can't cure poverty in a world that's rich in most things or why can we can spend billions of pounds building these great big nuclear plants? Which turn out to be quite dangerous but why can't we can't cure homelessness or poverty? The thing that keeps popping into my mind is why do we spend all this money on things that either can harm us badly or that are just no use to us at this present moment in time? Are we secretly planning international housing estates on the moon or something or will the moon be turned in to one huge international prison colony?
Forgive me but you have to remember I have been in a my own world for quite a number years due to my old habits, drugs and drink to be precise and suddenly I don't need them anymore. I've woken up to all these new ideas. So me not being in my hazy world has sort of left me with so many questions and the most the important I think is. Why is life not more important than flying to the moon or curing aids and cancer? Shouldn't we be curing what ails this planet now instead of spending billions on bigger war machines and going further into space because make no mistake. This planet is dying and so are millions of people from hunger and pollution and sickness? It seems to me that while we are gallivanting around the universe trying to find other forms of life that might kill us. We are letting ourselves and our planet die slowly anyway.
Posted by Picasa
I went to the west end to see if I could find some one who has been missing for somewhile now as I was walking down the strand when I bumped into some old faces and began telling me how manic it had become at the soup handouts. So I went along to see for myself. What I saw surprised even me.
This government says there are only a few sleeping rough on any one given night. Well here are at least one hundred homeless at just three soup runs in London's west end.
Then on the way home I spotted a young girl asleep on a mattress outside a shop in londons The Strand. The big double mattress had sheets and stuff and I suddenly had this picture of London being the poverty capital. It doesn't really matter what this government say they have done or are doing. We can see nothing is changing in fact things are only getting worse. The question is why? Now homeless people that are actually sleeping rough are saying, what good is education It wont get us a roof over our heads. All it means is we will be able to read the no vacancy signs. So why concentrate on that when we are homeless and we live by using our wits. Isn't that a sign that we are not as thick as two short planks?
Most homeless people I have spoken to, are angry because they feel they are being left out in the cold once again and soon their voices will once again become a whisper. My own feelings are that now too much is being done in one direction and yes education is important but I have to agree that being educated will not put a roof over anyone's head. It's in this area we should put our efforts. It's like poverty I believe you can't cure poverty around the world till you cure it at home. Strange don't you think that in a country like ours we have poverty and homelessness.

No electric

Some weekend. When things go wrong in my house, oh boy do they. No electric for over 14 hours on Saturday and then I nearly fell down the hole which is right outside my front door. Now they're are back to dig up the pavement some more just like gremlins because they say it was only a temporary fix when they came before and repaired it. So the last time. It's another night of drills and bad language wouldn't it have been cheaper and easier to fix it properly the first time? Posted by Picasa

07 July, 2006

Another minority group

Well, after going for a night out on the town and being chatted up by a Freddie Mercury look a like at a gay pub in Vauxhall. I managed to get away unscathed. My friend who I went with and who is gay wanted to go out and doesn’t like going out alone. So I went with him. It’s funny but people’s perception of gay men and women is one of phobia because of stories about aids and stuff. It’s just like anything else in this world one story of aids turns into a nightmare tale and it gets bigger and bigger every time it’s told. This in the case of gay people leads to fear. After talking with a few people and trying to get an even perspective. The conclusion is, here are group of people that just wanted to live their lives their way and because they fall in love with someone from the same sex they are put in to this category as being unfit and strange. The norm is that men should love women and visa versa but isn’t love supposed to be blind to colour and gender and doesen't everyone have the right to live thier live's they way they want? I have to admit when I was young queer bashing was the norm and I did take part but I didn’t understand things then. Now I see things for what they are. I think it’s called life.

05 July, 2006

I have thought about several things since I have kind of gotten some form of what people might call sanity since my heyday as drug addict and homeless man. With one thing and another I had yet to face the thing that had held me back for so long. Tonight I think I did when I told a group of addicts that life is too short to just float along in the bus lane. Which didn't make much sense to me at the time.How did I reach my this part of my life? To be truthful I haven't the faintest. I just know that life asleep to the hurt that one feels is not the answer to most people's prayers. Yes it is the short term answer. Drink and drug do in fact make you forget but only for the time being, but like the governments new deals it is only a short term fix. How can anyone depend on anything but themselves? Me, I can only recount from my own experiences. The trouble I had trying to get people to take me seriously was like capturing grains of sand and keeping a whole handful once you had dug deeply on a beach. Sometimes I think what the hell am I doing still blogging away and sometimes getting nowhere? Me I think its my time to say this is what I went through but if we did this or that then it would make a difference. But what does make a difference that's the question I keep asking myself.

03 July, 2006

My advert

Ex drug addict and homeless man seeks full time employment or should I write old codger and ex heroin addict and former homeless man now seeks full time employment because life is now too short not to annoy a boss I have never had.

Two different worlds world

My world now and what it used to be are two different things entirely. I still get the nagging feeling that something could go drastically wrong at any time but I don't let it bother me that much as I love the life I lead now. Everyone has problems and boy I have had quite a few but the fact that I am still here writing about them I think does tell people that I am determined to do well. I do have dreams for my future like having a book published but not my story as I think that people have heard it all before but something I have written. Which for me would be something. Sometimes I have crazy ideas for a book that I think would work and at the moment I have worked on and off on a play about a man who is released from prison to find his wife doesn't want him. So out of frustration he burgles three of her friends. Then he has a touch of conscience and puts all the stolen stuff back in the wrong houses. Which causes more mayhem. So you see from being what I call asleep for years I am wide awake and I am having ideas and that's what I love about my life now being able to think clearly and having an imagination. None of which would have been possible without the help of quite a few people. So whenever I think about other people in the same position as I once was, I always feel that the best way to help is firstly to listen. Then act the best way you can as people are different and do have many different problems. If people had not listened to me then where would I be now? Not in the world I am. I am sure of that much

Lazy shifty idle

Someone asked me at the weekend when I went to a barbecue. Did I used to be lazy and shy away from work? Well the truth is yes I was very lazy as the only world I knew at the time was drugs and how to get money to score. If I look at things from another angle I could also use the excuse who would employ someone that couldn't read or write? The roles are reversed now and I still can't get work. I'm still lazy but not so much and I do hate washing up and doing the house work but I do it because it simply has to be done. I do many things now that I once thought I'd never do. The saying a change is as good as a rest is solely true for me but now I need a rest.

We don't get it right all the time

I was thinking which seems to be every minute of the day these days but I was thinking that no matter whether you're an MP or just an average Joe in the street. All are really just the same. We all have these fears of making ends meet and doing things so we don't start a war with our next door neighbor's. Only politicians have to think on a larger scale. When I first start to meet MPs I remember one saying we don't get it right all the time but just lately I have been thinking about what he said and I keep on saying why the hell not? After all isn't it what the people voted for? Someone who doesn't make mistakes. This government I think will not be in power for much longer and the fact that Gordon Brown wants to be prime minister I personally think it will be the labour parties biggest mistake, although he is what I would call a safe pair of hands I think that the British people want more than that. They want progress. They want a decent standard of life. They want someone who has the foresight to build Britain into one the most progressive countries in the world. they want someone who really does want to fight poverty not only abroad but here as well but mostly they want someone who is not afraid to tell the people how it really is and how drastic the cure will be. I'd vote for them if they told the truth.

Monday morning blues

Well, it's Monday once again and who'd have thought I'd be dressed in a suit going for another interview ( which went ok ) but it's not exactly what I want to do but a job is a job and I need something more than social security. Last week I thought things were looking up at one stage but it doesn't take much to bring people back down to earth I mean if you just look at things going on around you like England losing in the world cup again I watched the match and I personally thought where was the passion? No wonder we lost although Rooney got sent off, he was playing with passion at the time. Now today I read piece called just for the boys about woman bloggers or the is it really the way men think about women in today's society. Its not about women working in the house or bringing up children anymore. It is about equality and the fact that women are just as intelligent as men it is so apparent only a blind man would deny it. Women bloggers there seems to be more and more joining and what's more women seem to be getting to grips with politics after all they are the ones that mostly doing the house keeping. There's one other thing if women want to be crude, they are ten times deadlier than the male and they certainly know how to be little a man. Ever seen the writing in a women's toilet. Maybe that's what politics wants? Blood and guts