Seven Years

Last week I received a letter from the bank informing me that I have been paying my mortgage for seven years and summarised the payments I have made thus far. This was a bit of a surprise to me as the time has flown by and it doesn’t really seem that long. For anyone that doesn’t know, I live in a tiny studio flat in Camberwell; it’s a refurbished halfway house for aged lunatics and alcoholics, it still has bars on the windows and turrets on the roof and the founders are buried in the garden. I like that.

Some of the notables to have come from Camberwell include The Richardson brothers (aka The Torture Gang and rivals to the Kray twins), Jenny Agutter (the bird who gets her knickers off in An American Werewolf in London) and Leslie Grantham who played Dirty Den in Eastenders (and was subsequently sacked for wanking on a webcam in his dressing room).

If I liken by poky little home to a prison cell and my time spent living here a sentence (mainly because I like to keep all my analogies dark), how have I spent my seven years of porridge with day release?

One of my major achievements has been to maintain a consistent level of baldness throughout, which is a feat only a couple of my mates have managed to match (although some are starting to catch up). I have also grown a moustache and beard on occasion which probably means that I’ve reached puberty at last, which comes as a relief speaking as bloke who is almost 30… (I’m 35).

I’ve squeezed in a few holidays in the last few years, including Thailand, Cambodia, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands – and this is definitely something I want to do more of. I’ve also been to a load of gigs and music festivals and I’ve seen many of the bands that are important to me – Grinderman, L7, Sheep on Drugs, Madness, Kasabian, Electric Wizard and The Prodigy being a handful of highlights.

I’ve had four different jobs during this period – and have worked my way up from doing technical support to my current position as a senior web developer for a digital agency in Hoxton, which is something I’m quite pleased about.

I’ve had a lot of tattoo work done, including an awesome backpiece by Calypso Saga which I love, but the downside to this is that I constantly now have to answer the question: “What will you do when you’re 70?“.

I’ve done my fair share of foolish things of course – I jumped off the pier into the sea in Brighton and I also stripped down to my pants and jumped in the lake at Secret Garden Party (there were witnesses). I’ve had couch surfers from America and Sweden stay at my place (who could have turned out to be crazy hatchet murderers or Jehovah’s Witnesses – or anything), and for some unfathomable reason I took up smoking and became chronically addicted, although I did manage to quit the habit this year. I’ve also been barred from two local pubs, but these pubs are overpriced shitholes that didn’t deserve my custom in the first place. I’ve tried to raise the dark lord on several occasions and I’ve truly believed that I’ve seen ghosts and demons late as night, although thankfully, they’ve not made an appearance for the last couple of years (coincidentally, that was the last time I took ketamine).

On the downside, I’ve yet to form a super group like the Traveling Wilburies and take the music industry by storm, so this is something I will need to work on in the future. And maybe I’ll even get to have sex with a woman one day. Here’s to the next seven years!

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