The Flood

The sewage back surge from the flats where l live burst through my bath plug hole, filled my bath, flowed over the edges leaving the remains of someone’s dinner on the side of the bath, and flowed determinedly onwards into my hall, bedroom and kitchen.

The unwell monster that seems to live under my bathroom floorboards, was exploding. Her vomit filled my world. Several of my books, my slippers and the laminate flooring was ruined. No insurance.

Being a council tenant feels very like being a third class citizen. Council housing was a brilliant idea, affordable housing for the workers, those that keep the city running. Makes sense doesn’t it? But now the stocks of council houses have been hugely run down by selling them off to private owners, so you only get one if you are in a very bad situation ( I was in a squat, diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain disease and uncontrolled epilepsy, when a heroin addict smashed up the place). These days buildings like the current one I live in, a 1960’s tower block, are allowed to fall into disrepair and the councils aren’t given money for required maintenance of them. And these days the workers – the cleaners, nurses, teachers – can’t afford to buy housing and can’t get council housing. They either end up getting into huge amounts of debt they can never pay off, live in bad quality shared accommodation or move out of the city. This will of course mean a lack of cleaners, nurses and teachers in a city that desperately needs them. The government bring out various policies to try and attract more nurses or teachers and allow them to afford homes, but surely there was a policy already in practice, that worked, called COUNCIL HOUSING. It has an absurdity that sings like an intro track to The House of Cards.

But then I can’t make any sense of our current politics. A friend asks me why I don’t write about politics much in my blog. Because it makes me miserable. Life essentially is a beautiful thing, difficult and painful sometimes, but at other times just astoundingly beautiful and wondrous. Politics and the News seem to concentrate on the horrid stuff, which gets me down. I don’t know, perhaps I should have more political rants, but then it all seems so absurd and out of control at the moment that it seems more appropriate to draw silly cartoons instead (see below). So I’ll stop with politics there and talk about magic instead.

Magically this last climax of the sewage seems to, and here I cross my fingers, seems to have solved the problem.

No more can I hear groaning and gurgling, no longer does sewage spew into my bath. Hurrah!

And it seems to all be thanks to the hazel trees.

There is a couple of hazel trees in Newington Green. Small things, cropped into bushes underneath a London Plain. I go to talk to them sometimes, when I need someone to share problems with.They don’t respond, obviously, which is often a good thing. Anyway, on the morning in question I’d had enough of the sewage problem. Two months it had been. I was fed up of never being able to shower or bath in my own flat without wading in other people’s shit. I explained this to the hazel trees and asked if please, if possible, could something be done about it.

That evening came the flood. Horrible. But it has meant that Islington council repairs team actually got it together to sort out the problem and now I am sewage free.

Never underestimate a hazel tree.

I’m going to celebrate being sewage free at the Rude Mechanicals gig on the 23rd March.

Yes, I will give out free swamp monster original prints (worth thousands of pounds, obviously) to the first five people who can tell me the name of the monster that lives under my bathroom. Any guesses? Keep it secret and turn up to the gig early to tell me and collect your present.

Below is something like my understanding of current global politics

I want someone who…

I want someone who wants me for what I am

I want someone who wants me for what I am not

I want someone who doesn’t run away when I get ill

I want someone who doesn’t see my brain disease as a romantic novel

I want someone who does see my brain disease as a romantic novel

I want someone who is strong and decisive

I want someone who doesn’t tell me what to do

I want someone who is rich

And unattached

And good looking

And kind

And open minded

And generous

And intelligent

Has several PhD’s and a professorship

But understands that they are still a fool

I want someone who knows that I am Queen of Everything!

Handmade book by MissRoberts

February Blues

February rushes along. The sewage saga continues, I’ve now contacted my MP who is helping pursue the issue and Toynbee Legal advice centre are writing a stern letter to my council housing repairs team.

But my health is not good and it is all getting me down somewhat.

Everything feels so grim, the sewage, the weather, my health, work, the no deal Brexit shenanigans.

And it being February as well, a cold difficult month full of remorse and heart break.

Still I’ve had worse February’s, like the one I had an operation, which was very painful, and the one where, due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis of medication I had kidney failure. So far this February has been a lot better than those two.

So, the good things about this February-

1. I’m not in hospital. Hurrah!

2. I’m enjoying playing around with animating some old stories of mine. All stop frame paper cutouts and badly done, but good fun!

2. I’ve managed to get a friend to read Geek Love, and he phones me almost every day to remind me how good/funny/dark/disgusting it is.

3. I had a one eyed alien come and visit me the other day. Very large, neon green and rather a blob of a creature. Incredibly frightening during the visit but now it seems ridiculous, like a children’s cartoon character.

4. I’m also hallucinating lots of cats everywhere at the moment, which is a bit distressing because I think I’m treading on them, or knocking them off of things, but a bit nicer than the the normal insects.

5. Listened to Begotten’s track recordings the other nightwhich sound surprisingly good.

6. I’m playing with Gardyloo Spew and MFU in an improvisational band in Brighton this Sunday!

7. I’ve decided to create a tape recording of Miss Roberts stories, with various invited musicians to do sound effects and backing.

8. Have broken at least half my New Years resolutions and am feeling surprisingly satisfied with this.

9. There is now recorded a new Rude Mechanicals single, all ready and waiting to be launched in the next couple of months.

10. I quite enjoy writing relatively pointless numbered lists

Found this picture earlier, it is surprisingly like the alien that visited me, funny, I drew it about 15 years ago for a children’s book I was writing. I long for summer days walking through long grass, eating strawberries and spending long evenings drinking cocktails on some terrace somewhere exotic…

A green one eyed alien splodge I drew for a children’s story years back.