My first Summer in my new house was a real eye opener.

Having moved in March, I spent most of Spring getting the house in a fit liveable state – it’s been quite the project!

It’s been really exciting to have a physical project to work on, instead of constantly having these vacant thoughts of poetry knocking around my head. When you’ve just moved into what essentially is an empty wooden shell, you tend to have more pressing thoughts on your mind than your next sonnet. Luckily, I still had my caravan to sleep in during the slightly colder March months, however, as the months began to get warmer I began to get more brazen with my stripping of it.

Come Spring, I’d harvested most of the usable wood from my old caravan, repurposing it as cladding for my new home. This was an important step for me, taking me from wandering self-styled gypsy to settled middle-aged man within a few months. For years I’d thought that the only way that I could be happy was to be constantly moving, as if the constant motion of the lumbering caravan was a necessary rhythm that I had to be forever moving to.

Come the Summer months and my home was complete, with only the wheels leaning up against the house as a sign that a caravan was ever there.

The hardest part of adjusting to stationery life was the sudden onset of a routine life. For decades I had tried my very best to keep my life different from one day to the next. The whole purpose of my going out on the road in the first place was to avoid living the kind of dull life that millions of others do, day after day. Wake up, eat, work, eat, sleep. I’d thought that by keeping constantly on the move, meeting new people on a daily basis and essentially living hand-to-mouth, I’d be safe from slipping into the same routine that has trapped so many of my fellow human beings.

Of course, I’d failed to consider how comforting a routine can be, especially to someone who’s spent so much of their life in disarray.

Although I have no pressing engagements from one day to the next, I often find that I rise at the same time each day, usually around 7am. I take my time getting out of bed, peering around my sparse room and thinking about what I’ll do with my day. Then it’s up and at ’em. Out to the chicken coop to feed the birds and give them a run around, allowing me to dive in and grab some eggs for breakfast.

A few minutes later, I’m sat on my porch, tucking into a hearty plate of free-range produce with a glass of orange juice, watching the sun spread his fingers over the horizon. My plot of land here is just big enough to allow me to breathe, without feeling isolated. Just a short walk away the rest of the village slowly starts to wake up and I’m free to think about how I’ll spend the rest of the day.

I could do some more work on the house. I could start prepping the land for crops. Or I could just read a book.

Life is good right now.

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I no longer care about poetry.

Drop the mic, hold the phone, stop the press.

Its not that I’ve lost that creative part of my mind. I’m quite clearly exercising it here, just writing this post, I’m just slowly coming around to the idea that poetry is one of those useless things that really means nothing. Quite a u-turn I know. From self styled Gypsy Poet (with his very own website, nonetheless) to poetry hating philistine. How did this change take place? I leave poetry for just a year and suddenly I find myself completely at odds with myself.

Maybe it has something to do with the house that I bought.

In the midst of my 35th year, I gave the bank £30,000 and moved into my own home. Before this point I was working as a freelance carpenter, travelling the roads of Britain, struggling to make ends meet. I understand that sounds like an odd life to lead, but you’d be surprised by now normal it felt once you’d done it for a couple of years. Human beings are really very adaptable creatures, when I come to think of it. As long as we’re fed and we have a bed to sleep in, then there’s very little to stop us endlessly drifting through time – making little progress besides passing the days.

I inherited they money from an Aunt. She was always kind to me, supporting my odd choices in activities and defending my eccentricities; which is why I was surprised to receive a note along with the money reading:

‘Enough, you’ve had enough time. Take this money, buy yourself a home and come back to us.’

I could’ve ignored the note, a last request from a dying woman who had cared for me. I could’ve taken the money and headed back on to the road for another 5 years. But I didn’t. I remembered her kind smile and stern eyes. I bought the house.

Of course, I couldn’t simply settle with a normal place – I needed a house with a story, battered and in need of work. So I found a detached farm house on the edge of a village that had always welcomed my services and got to work. Over the course of a few weeks, I had completely dismantled my old gypsy caravan and retooled the parts into my stationary home, until only the wheels and axles were left. I’d transplanted the familiar feeling of home into the alien lifestyle of stationary living – and it was good.

The one thing I was in need of, though, was windows.

For years I’d slept in relative darkness, the wind and rain buffeting the treated oak of my gypsy caravan. Now I was living in one spot, I could invest in something a little more insulating. With plenty of cash left over from the purchase, I called up some old friends, who were busy building conservatories in Chester. They helped me fit my new home with thick double glazing, so that I could finally go to sleep at night without the sound of the winds whistling through the cracks in my home.

There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night with the feeling that something has gone terribly wrong. The absence of any ambient sound shocks me into wakefulness before I remember where I am and what has changed. Then I stretch out, walk through the dim grey of the early morning light and pull some orange juice out of the fridge.

I gaze out the clear windows at at purple sky, sprouting orange rays on the horizon and I think of Aunt Josie.

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Its been too long since I’ve written on this site.

Why, you ask?

I’ll tell you.

My life has become too complex – the life of the world is too hard to track, yet we have all the tools that we need to do so. With my trusty Apple iPhone loaded with a whole host of apps, I can track and trace every single part of my life. Everything from the amount of steps that I walk each day, to the hours of sleep I get each night, to the amount of calories I eat. All of these little programs and applications help me focus even more on myself, my own life, nothing else.

Considering the amount of time that I’ve been using to check my progress through life, its no wonder that I’ve not managed to write a single poem in almost a year. So what went wrong? Its not like this technology wasn’t around last year. What excuse could I possibly have for abandoning my one and only creative output?

Its not just the black mirror in my pocket, constantly begging me to gaze into its inky depths, its the entire world. There is just too much to keep track of. Too many TV shows that demand my attention, too many friends that are constantly clamouring for me to approve of their new lifestyle choices.

“Did you know I’m vegan now? It’s really helping me pass-”

“I don’t care please stop talki-.”

“Anyway – I’m working on only buying organic clothes now but its just so hard…

It’s endless and it’s all their fault.

I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t I just get rid of them?

All I have to do is go to my phone and start deleting contacts. One at a time, I could start severing my ties with each and every one of my ‘friends’ until only the precious few that don’t distract or annoy me remain. There wouldn’t be many and they, ironically, would probably be the ones that simply don’t like me that much. After all, the people that are constantly haranguing me for advice, inviting me to parties and sending me messages are probably the people that care about me most in the world.

For the sake of my own sanity I suppose it would be wise just to keep a few acquaintances kicking around.

After all, I’ve heard its important to keep people around, in case of accidents.

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You know, I don’t want to be accused of being a ‘negative Nancy’ but I don’t think the human race will see out the year.

Yeah, I think it’s ‘extinction o’clock’ you guys!

We are done for. It’s the end! But don’t run for the hills, or scream, or panic, or move, or leave, or try, or hope, or attempt to find any solutions.  There are no solutions, there’s nowhere to run, there’s nowhere to hide, there’s not even any need to panic, because it’s just the end. It was always going to happen, it was always going to kill, and it was always going to be annoying. And now it’s happening, it’s going to kill, and it’s annoying. Whoopdedoo!

Whatever…

But there’s time yet to celebrate what made us great! Like MacDonalds, Iphones, Amelia Jane Bobble Hats, cheese, cash, money, rain, wind, soul, pink things, the Disney films, the Marvel films, Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Other Men, caravans, other types of cheese, the good stuff!

I love bobble hats, its an old tradition in my family to wear them (bobble hats that is) and I’m so happy to see Amelia Jane keeping the torch burning so brightly! Bobble Hats! Bobble Hats! Bobble Hats! All together now! Bobble Hats!

stone-union-purple-bobble-hat

Everything will be fine you guys RELAX.

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