No Fixed Abode

Yesterday I left Palmers Green for good. No furniture remaining, four suitcases packed. I had fucked up my back sleeping on an inflatable mattress for two nights. It was time to leave.

Final meter readings. Postal redirection. Life admin.

Staying in an Air b’n’b in Shoreditch for the next few days.

Last night I ordered takeout from some place called Bird.

The Original Waffle Burger

Two boneless free range thighs, bacon, American cheese, house BBQ, mayo, hot sauce & Canadian maple syrup served between 2 freshly griddled waffles

Well, it sure beat BBQ Express in Palmers Green.

Leaving the suburb I’ve lived in for the last two years, I felt no emotion. Nothing. I took my final ever commute on the unreliable 08:25 to Moorgate. I thought to myself, let’s stare out of the window and take it all in (old Victorian houses, Alexandra Palace, Girl on the Train sort of crap), rather than read my Kindle or dick around with my phone. But after three minutes (around the time the train pulled away from Bowes Park station), I was balls deep into a tense game of Solitaire. I just didn’t care anymore.

Perhaps that’s how it should be. Places change. Homes are bricks and mortar. The apartment was sold for a nice profit, so I’ve just viewed the whole thing as a business transaction. I can be pretty cold when I want to be.

Besides, I was getting a little worried about myself in Palmers Green. There’s nothing to do there. Three pubs – two Irish pubs, which I’m pretty sure are both fronts for some sort of illegal activity or other and a grotty Wetherspoons. So the only option is to get wrecked at home. When you get home from work every night and the first thing you do – before you’ve taken your tie off, before you’ve flopped on the bed – is skull a shot of tequila … Well, maybe that’s not healthy behaviour.

Begs the question: why move there in the first place? Desperation, I suppose. I remember house-hunting in Dalston. After walking on the thick, matted carpet, up five flights (no elevator) and into a shithole in which one couldn’t swing a cat (or even a dead mouse), I asked the estate agent: ‘Why’s the boiler in the bedroom?’

He couldn’t give a straight answer, but swiftly told that the place was on the market for half a million quid.

So the new builds in Palmers Green seemed quite nice. Plus, there was a Dominos, a Papa John’s, and a Pizza Hut within about 30 seconds of each other. I called that The Golden Triangle. I was sold.

But there’s something threatening about Palmers Green. It’s too quiet. People seem too content. I always thought it’s the sort of place in which someone could get brutally murdered, but the residents would cover it up because they didn’t want their little suburb getting a ‘bad reputation.’

Thankfully, I left alive.

Now I have no home at all. Air b’n’b for a few nights. Stay with my folks for a week in Hampshire, after which I go to Cancun for two weeks and then emigrate to Australia.

It is a very odd time indeed. Liberating, though. Liberating.

10 comments

  1. Bravo to changes! Last May, I quit my Senior Tech Writing position in the U.S., got rid of all my furniture, clothes, car, etc., and came to Germany with a backpack to hitchhike around and look for odd jobs. I’d had it with the corporate job. A bit more stability now than in my teenage vagabonding years — I own a house in New Orleans, though I can’t return because it’s rented now — but still liberating to be on the side of the road with no direction and at the mercy of generous strangers. So hurrah for you and me and Jack Kerouac 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on having the balls to leave what you know and head for the unknown future!!!!!!!

    Years ago, my ex and I left North Carolina (thankgod…leaving a really shitty place filled with rednecks, racism, and poverty) and finally arrived in Colorado. We had $25.00 between us when we pulled up to our Western destination! I knew from the moment I saw the Rockies spanning the horizon, I had found my home. Never looked back.

    Best of luck and don’t forget to blog. Enjoy the powerful feeling of freedom of roaming.
    We’re waiting to hear the next installment of your life story:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having lived in Boulder, I know that feeling of seeing the Rockies and smiling to say this is home. I wonder about North Carolina. It has such a split reputation now of being half as you describe and the other half a progressive, back-to-nature hippie-ish scene (from what I hear).

      Like

  3. I left Notting Hill in 1998 after living there for over 25 years. And felt no regrets whatsoever, even though I’d spent some of the best years of my life there. After about three years on the road travelling from Arctic Norway to the southern tip of Spain – in between staying with friends family back in the UK for a few weeks here and there – I ended up in an Andalucian pueblo on the Costa de la Luz with very little to my name. I’ve been scraping by here for about fifteen years now. You get by.

    Liked by 1 person

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