I am no longer a Londoner. I have broken clean away from Walthamstow. On the morning of March 31st I threw some of my clothes and my passport and birth certificate into a duffel bag and abandoned my gaff in London E17.
I’d really been enjoying my life in England, but thing started to go sour in 2009 when my neighbour (whom I shall not name – he is no longer relevant) fell into the habit of hanging around with all the wrong people – I mean no-hopers, junkies and just the dregs of humanity. He’s a nice guy himself and doesn’t do anything stronger than cannabis. But he’s the type whom everybody takes advantage of. He gets robbed and cheated in every way. And he frequently asked me to lend him money. And he just as frequently forgot to pay it back. That’s in addition to the fact that he never paid for his share of the gas and electricity. He claimed housing benefit and still did plumbing jobs yet never paid his rent. The man was a social and financial disaster.
But when he got stuck between two rival drug gangs who demanded protection money from him, I decided to jettison nearly all my possessions and disappear from Walthamstow altogether.
Now I’m back in Ireland where I have family I love and who love me. Where my future will go from here I don’t know, but this could be the best move I ever made. My heart is in Ireland, my past is in England and that’s where I’m leaving it.