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Showers, Leider Hosen and the problem with NVQs

Living rough can be like losing your previous life. There are so many odd things you get involved with. I woke up in the middle of the night with some bloke, wearing one of those German leider hosen numbers, you know leathe shorts is trying to unlock the car, with his keys and get in. He was four sheets to the wind and said he’s been wandering around for hours, because he couldn’t remember where he parked his car. Goodness knows where he’d come from. He asks why I’m in his Fiesta?

I point out, in the least aggressive way I could manage at 3 am that a Ford key would not open a Volvo. He agreed it a Volvo, thanked me and was last seen heading for Gloucester. I notice as he is departing tha the "leider hsoen" is not real leather, but some rubbishy crimplene type fabric. He looks a real pillocj , and people are rude about me! I resisted teh urge to yell something about "fake hosen" and tod him how to find the nearest road. I do miss an uninterrupted sleep after a snug night in with Grace in the cottage, but you can’t dwell too much on the old life. New ways have arrived.

For instance you get used to ducking and diving to get a warm shower, even if that is really not the biggest problem. But it counts. You got to keep clean if you are living rough, or people treat you even worse. So no need to give ammunition to some socially challenged bigot so they can treat you as if you were something stuck on their shoe- often their very ugly plastic shoe. So I’m “keeping it clean” as best I can. I even went to a gym the other day posing as a new member. I kid you not. They had a “special offer” on, “down to £50 a month”, and I asked for a show around and to test their shower. “ I’m very particular about showers”, I said. You see Meg, my friend at the farm up the road, has been away this week and so I can’t use her family’s shower by the milking parlour and the watering full of cold rain water at me camp just isn’t doing it for me at the moment. Well the bloke in the gym looked me up and down and said, “ have you ever used weights? “ I felt like lifting him up, he was only a little squit with an NVQ in being patronising behaviour, but I said” I’m more partial to the pool than weights”.

So he was about to let me in pool, only a little thing it was, until he saw that my trunks were just a pair of Y fronts. Rather faded ones holey ones at that, which wouldn’t pass the Persil test. So I kept me trousers on and switched to doing weights in the gym, a sweat box of prats listening to music you wouldn’t play your grandmother, and that all soon came to an end when I dropped a 50 kilo weight on my foot. Had to leave without a shower too. I just ain’t been myself lately. Still I find those funny little piglets are still making me laugh.

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