The Real World

On the estate where we live, there are petty crooks, drug addicts, alcoholics, perverts and general low life, all mixed in with angels, professional people, artists, musicians, and sweet older people who like us, despair at the way our world has developed over the last 20 or so  years  The police are disinterested for whatever reason when we report dodgy cars with blacked out windows craftily passing small packets quickly through those dark windows in exchange for presumably, wads of cash.

The purchase of cigarettes and/or booze whilst their kids go hungry. Yes, you and I would ‘Tut Tut’ at such idiocy, but have you ever thought that (as the Bible says), “There but for the grace of God, go I?” Many of our ‘low life’, never had our kind of parenting and therefore have no ‘role models’ that set acceptable standards, so it is little wonder that their lifestyle is so vastly different to that of ordinary folk. For example:

Many years ago a reasonably attractive woman and her twelve year old daughter came to live on our estate. It quickly became evident, by the string of strange men visiting her that the mother was heavily into drugs. I later learned she had progressed from smoking cannabis to taking cocaine. Four years later, one of the mother’s boyfriends raped the then sixteen year old daughter, who then became pregnant. The daughter I’ll call her Ann, (not her real name) had a baby boy, and it was quickly evident that she was herself as inadequate as her own mother had been. Ann was spending very little on food but plenty on booze.  When her child was aged about nine I had to go into her flat as we had discovered a leaking washing machine hose in the flat above Ann. I explained to Ann that I needed to see if the leak had caused any damage as It had clearly been leaking over several weeks. Reluctantly, she let me in! The squalor I saw was indescribable. The kitchen was filthy with dirty pots and pans on the oven and crockery stacked in the sink.

I remember thinking to myself, ‘make an excuse and leave as quickly as possible’ but as I was walking down the hallway to her front door – the boy came out from his bedroom. I couldn’t but help see that on the floor in the corner of his bedroom was a torn mattress no sheets but a couple of filthy blankets with an old chair cushion presumably being used as a pillow. Of course I had seen the thin shallow eyed boy coming and going on the estate many times before – but it never occurred to me that the lad, who only lived three floors below my own flat, lived in such squalid conditions.

That same day I contacted Social Services, who I believe conducted a joint interview with his school teachers. As far as I could tell, nothing came of that interview.


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