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One for the Road

This is the second time I am writing this editorial for the reason that quite extraordinarily it went missing from the pages of this newsletter. It is not the only thing that goes missing. My memory stick went missing and then ‘miraculously’ reappeared in the place where I thought I kept it. It is almost like a form of auto-hypnosis that does not allow me to find it. If it wasn’t for the fact that I can translate body language I would say that I was going bonkers. Luckily I remember some important themes that I wrote about, including the loss of my flat in London, the loss of some of my trees in Catalonia, and the loss of my health every time I allow anybody to prepare my meals. Where to start then.

I don’t want to dwell too long on any of the above subjects but if I start on the flat the question I could put to the housing association who had me legally thrown out is, ‘Why was you so scared of the outcome?’ Why did they have to bring in a top solicitor at the last moment to replace the one who gave me some good advice? I had no legal representation, nor was I offered any during the case, and if you readers can recall in the last newsletter I offered Helix housing Association a NOUICOR expressing my desire for them to admit to acting under duress. When the judge had asked me whether I wanted to appeal, and if so what were the grounds, I told him that they were acting under duress, but he refused the appeal. He gave me 3 weeks to commit another appeal to writing, which I did on the basis that I wanted a retrial. I explained that the judge’s decision was insoluble, meaning that the monies he awarded the housing association for unpaid rents was effectively counterrational as I was being thrown out and made homeless. How could I expect to pay, even if the judge said that the housing association have yet to issue an order to demand the lost rents, when my local business was being affected as it had in the main during the two and a half years when I was continuously being threatened by the housing association to get out. I had the brilliant foresight then to not pay any rent on the basis that the flat was condemned for asbestos, an issue that Helix wanted to hide. In fact, they even tried to blame me for the extra costs incurred when I had it removed myself in order to make the flat habitable again. And I doubt that I will ever see those household goods again. So after many months of delay and response by the understaffed courts, suffering also from government legal cuts as are the free legal centres, the right to appear before a judge at a final oral hearing was also denied, with the same reason that I had no basis to defend my case. I never heard from either the courts or the housing association again, nor their solicitors. In fact, the eerie silence is just like the response of my neighbourhood who did nothing for me, other than the few loyal clients who gave me much-needed work, sometimes a room to sleep in, whilst I thoroughly enjoyed living out of the back of my LWB Renault Master.

On this last point, I wonder at the neighbours, the other clients, the lack of friends. The sense of jealousy and resentment that I invoke in people is to do with their own failures. Not least why I hadn’t paid council tax for nearly 5 years when I argued in court, as a sovereign human being, why Lewisham Borough Council had wilfully destroyed my greenhouse at the local nature reserve on Devonshire Road; the council could not enforce council tax payment after that. How people, then, subscribe to a ridiculous urban logic that enslaves them to materialism and a financial commitment that shackles them to their homes is a muted point that they prefer to hide. They feel comfortable in the knowledge that most of the other urbanites are also in the same position, and so they must be doing something right. They must have got ear of the fact that I stopped paying rent, bearing in mind that there were orders of repossession against me, but why should I pay? Where does my security come from? Certainly not from materialism. So when the judge asked me whether I had anything to say, I was overcome with a sense of destiny. Even with a strong written defence I said nothing. Really, the few days before the hearing I decided to issue that NOUICOR to Helix (see last newsletter), and so of a sudden I realised I had changed my fate. How could I now go ahead with a court decision when I was appealing to God as a human under my own sovereignty? I asked in that Notice for Helix to write off the debt bearing in mind that I was entitled to compensation. Well, after they threatened my ill parents whose names were on the tenancy agreement and the anxiety it caused regarding their health and their relationship to me simply on the basis that they would not support me, they never saw a penny of those lost rents. But they certainly were advocating the complete destruction of my material lifestyle.

It is a question of fear for the masses. How not to fall off the beaten track. When in front of the judge alone, I knew that there was nothing worth saving of my lifestyle there in London other than my presence, my voice and my traveller’s rights. I didn’t want the flat anymore, centred as it was in a community-starved environment. After all these years, sixteen, of building the garden and the furnishings, I knew that I had achieved everything I needed to. Having plumbed it with gas and water, stripping all the paint of the woodwork, built the kitchen, restored the rotting windows, built the garden, created a community which is all but dead now, well, what more can I give? I didn’t want the sense that I had to return in order to maintain the rent payments. Yes, it was cheap for a 2-bedroom ground-floor flat with front and back garden. I was a great neighbour and tenant, repairing everything, trying to get the neighbours involved, offering the fruits of my garden, always inviting them around. I did not even lose the project, the mother of my permaculture work. That still remains on the wild railway line at the back, growing away, finding its own equilibrium - impermanence. Now that project, Solteriologic Garden, is even bigger here in Catalonia on a 3-hectare farm. Oh, how I relish travelling back to London but this time as a traveller.

Of an interesting note during one of my temporary stays there, earning my sole form of income from gardening, I came across a van with a sticker on it. Check this out, as not long after that my fate took another turn when I went to B&Q to buy a load of materials for a job I was starting for a client. Having taken my Renault Master LWB to the car park, instead of using 2 parking spaces, as it is very long, I used 4. This was on the basis that the carpark was half empty and that I needed a large turning arc. I came back, having paid about 150GBP in materials, to find a parking ticket on the windscreen. I didn’t realise at first since it is not the first time I have totally ignored what is stuck on my windscreen. I returned with my anger welling up, wondering what I was going to do to the parking attendant. So I pulled up in front of him and got out. I said, ‘What right have you to stick a parking fine on my window?’ It turned out that he worked for a FUCKING private company not employed by B&Q. B&Q later told me that all I had to do was bring it back to them and they would nullify it. That is besides the point. I am on private land ‘invited’ to pay for goods. The attendant tried to explain to me that there was a sign showing that I had to use the parking spaces allocated, BUT it doesn’t say how many. It makes no exception for oversized, even undersized, vehicles, only that you must be a customer at these premises, which I was. I tried to tell the attendant that what he was doing is illegal. A 10GBP fine many people pay because they don’t want the hassle. Let’s face it, they have just probably bought hundreds of pounds of materials and totally overspent. What does it matter a little bit more. Well, I stuck that fine back in his pocket and told him to not be so bloody-minded. (I recently checked a backlog of mail and the massively-increased fine went straight to the recycle bin.) But there is a real basis in what I am saying.

Having spotted those stickers on a work’s van I had a friendly chat with the owner. He told me that he has never paid a parking fine, and he has had near 200! In fact, DVLA have black-listed him even to the extent that he gets compensation from them. He enforces his right as a sovereign human being and that to stick anything on his property is a violation of his property rights, viz., to remain in peace without molestation. I tried to get an interview from him and asked him to espouse the common man if he would allow me to publish it. He even agreed that many people fear the retribution; not finding your ‘much-loved and essential’ vehicle on returning from the shops can be a materialistic nightmare, as I knew when they took my 1980 Austin Allegro which the pound was going to scrap. Unfortunately, you the reader will not see that interview as I think the whole idea dawned that to bring on him unwelcome pressure may just tip the stress point. I ask you, do you think that you really have to pay fines for parking and other offences when you can just as well issue your own Notices for the molestation that you have received and the anxiety that you have been put through? I never paid for anything after I realised years ago what it means to be in the System. Do the Council ever apologise when they withdraw a notice? No.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I came back from a very successful African vocation teaching and training permaculture students on farms knowing that my anxieties were solely to do with the intuition that my trees will have suffered in the drought and that my poor old Mum isn’t able to water them. I left 20ltr containers on all of them, and she had done some of them. When I look at her condition now, severely worsened since, with her knees needing an operation, for an 80-year woman I have to admit that her superhuman genes are giving up the ghost. So had the sweet chestnut, the walnut, the established apricot and the fig. Really, I have to design another strategy, a nd seems to improve especially in matters of fixing things, but really, just a little bit of water here and there could be a good reason to chill out. Okay, so it makes me tweak the system, improve it, invest in it. It doesn’t help when the irrigation system has been turned off altogether though. The food tunnel, aptly named the house of Cane and Able since it looks like an Ark that has found dry land, and is rather in the shape of a church also, is like a Wonder of the world. Going green and with better–installed pipework this time around, the whole structure woven in cane offsets the strong winds. My recent volunteers from London had a whale of a time in it, as I seek to enlarge their experience of life and take them on treks to the mountains and the coast. This is a package I am designing for the future, providing the working holiday makers mountaineering and hill trekking, swimming and fitness, festivities and local sight-seeing tours, permaculture activities like horticulture, charcoal production, dry-stone walling, beekeeping and craft. I have started, so although the website needs another revamp you can enquire now. It’s camping, and you shit in the rocks. Well actually, even though volunteers are encouraged to ‘”design” this community when they come here I want them to show initiative and implement their own projects. Ask yourself what you can contribute, and certainly you will have to pay 5GBP a day to go towards the one meal and extra costs of hiring my services. Let’s see if I can get some feedback from my last volunteers in order that you can read it in this newsletter. Likewise, expect to purchase a tree and plant it in your honour when you arrive. I don’t want dodgy characters. I am also trying to set up an international volunteer exchange system with Africa (see inside). This is the future, with the possibility of a Land Trust to further the exploits of everybody. In fact I have a piece of land up for sale. Look at my website for more details,

But yes, should I blame my volunteers when the food gives me poisoning, or when my memory stick goes missing? I know God looks after me. There is a song I have written which you can find further in these pages. When I wrote that in Africa, entitled ‘Return to the One’ I thought I had lost it since the music began in the Gambia but not having been able to carry the guitar to Burundi meant that it was shelved. I practically forgot it and think that I must have rewritten it to an extent. It is so deeply spiritual, when on the day I wrote the lyrics a huge wind came and lifted the roof off a storehouse that landed on a blue van on the farm in Burundi. It was auspicious. I have no internet there. The following day I was told by a trainee that “yesterday” in Barcelona there were terrorist attacks. And the day after that I was hit by a car outside a bakery. Read the first line of the song, ‘Stop me if you can dying people made of the sand’. When I play it I am still in my state of transcendence as the moment of creation is still with me. In the streets of Catalonia it runs for about 15 minutes long. Such said, in Cambrils of recent, a mother gave me a euro after I refused the infant boy from giving me the money instead. She laid it on this beautiful glossy, probably, magnolia leaf that had fallen perfectly in front of me. There it stayed, until some groat of a man with his partner who was quickly moving on, decided to try and take the money, right from under my nose. Unbelievable, in his fancy clothes and confident pose whilst I played the song. When I mentioned it, rather than put it back he just threw it on the floor. Bad luck. I know that this man will suffer a materialistic meltdown, and I don’t have to be his witness. You cannot touch God’s chosen with tainted hands.

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