Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Scones and arrows of annoying fortune
Oh God, if I could have my health back. Oh God, if I could have my peace of mind back! I was feeling much better after my recent drive to the Isle of Wight and back, I actually felt happy, yes happy, it was there almost palpable and rather a new thing. Now I have just had another bolt of bad luck and joy has evaporated. New tenants moved in upstairs before Easter and they are refusing to pay any rent. First they made incessant demands, which were all met and really promptly. Then came the silent refusal to put anything into my bank account, then an illegal changing of the locks. I now face the long process of getting them evicted and losing about six months rent in the process. Disaster. My system of getting by; small pension and rented flat works OK but only if I get tenants who pay up. Now I realise that these two are not going to pay anything, and to make matters worse he has launched some kind of campaign against me, getting legal advice to see if he can prosecute me for entering the property unlawfully to fix a sash window before Easter as we were all rushing to go away and I couldn’t get hold of them. I also left a note at that time telling them when to put the bins out and he said this was evidence he could use against me, of illegal entry. He has reported me to the council, demands to see all documents relating to the flat, and has, he says, reported me to the police for “racially harassing” his wife who is Portuguese. He also accuses me of harassing his parents. His father guaranteed the rent but has no intention of paying either. I went to the police station myself to check it all out and a rather borned WPC said, “harassment is a series of consecutive acts.” I have only sent the father one polite e mail so that doesn’t amount to much. As for the race business, after she sent me a text accusing me yet again of going into the flat unlawfully, I sent her a text saying, “I know your English is not good but can you understand these words: “pay your rent.” The policewoman said it might be fact that her English is not good, and not to worry. Maybe the English is worse than I thought, she certainly didn’t get the message anyway. As they live upstairs from me the situation is particularly unpleasant an uneasy. They keep all the curtains drawn front and back but seem to know my movements. I lobbed a very small snail over the fence last night into a garden where they do not gardening. I wonder if he noted that one down? All that aside, I have just had my 56th birthday – it sounds auspicious somehow that number, but I realise I am living precariously, relying on one rent. It is not what I imagined for myself when I was twenty five. I think I thought I would have a big house in Hampstead by now and a successful career at something. Wonder if I should sell the flat and live on the proceeds. If I got £240k for it that would last about seven years. No point in investing it, it would just go in the bank. But then the banks might default too. All over the country there are people making these useless calculations about the future. In the meantime it is a matter of getting the evil little shit and his ghastly wife off my premises! Despite all that I managed to have a lovely birthday. I had a big lunch on the Sunday and on Monday. My friend June and I went to the Picasso exhib at the Tate and then she took me for afternoon tea at the Lanesborough Hotel. It was a sumptuous tea, although we had to ask for the scones to be brought out and the tea-cake was the size of a fifty pence. The sandwiches and small, warm quiche were best, and they came with gold and silver leaf on top, so you can enjoy a genteel afternoon treat and cure yourself of clap at the same time. In the evening my friend Brian took me to see Sweeny Todd, and he even paid for a box. I have some wonderful friends.