Day 37

Got up at the crack of dawn to meet Elsbeth at the tube station where we caught the District line to Victoria Station to board our tour bus. I use the phrase tour bus with extreme generosity since it quickly became apparent why the tickets were so cheap – the bus was old, mean and completely lacking in any comfort or amenities whatsoever. We were glad to get chewing gum free seats.

This didn't dampen our spirits however, as we boarded along with 50 or so other old fogeys, many sporting very blue rinses. The trip took just under 2 hours, weaving through South East London and the lush Kentish countryside, the Garden of England, to eventually arrive at Royal Tunbridge Wells. Its a small and very upmarket town who's inhabitants I'm guessing are very fond of the Royal association. English towns have generally lost their identity, tending to have similar centres with the same array of dull shops adorning the High Street, but Tunbridge Wells manages to preserve some of its heritage in its Pantiles area, a very picturesque part of the town which also hosts the spring that used to serve the Spa. I don't recommend drinking the water, though – it tastes vile. Not surprising Henry VIII was such a disagreeable fellow.

We wandered about for a good few hours, avoiding the shopping centres and Christmas crowds as much as possible. Elsbeth and I enjoy each other's company without feeling the need to make conversation which suits me immensely as I find conversation quite tiresome.

Its been a good day, and to top it all Harry has returned, looking fat as ever. He even let me stroke him.

Day 36

My despair is behind me for now. Feelings like that are so irrational: two people can look at the same situation, one with great sorrow, the other with great joy. So quite often "pull yourself together" is the perfect advice.

I cleaned my flat, left some milk outside for Harry in case he pitches up, went food shopping, and visited Elsbeth at the charity shop. She was busy as ever, a ray of sunshine, full of the joy of life - such a contrast to my last few days.

We arranged to go on a bus day trip tomorrow since its her day off. Royal Tunbridge Wells. Apparently it has a famous Spa that the royals of old frequented. Not my thing, but it'll make a nice change from my otherwise boring norm.

I got a letter from the Council today - they at last have a place for me to stay. Its just up the road. I move in 2 weeks time. Such a weight off my shoulders. I read in the news today of some poor chap sleeping rough who was beaten up and set on fire while he slept. Who said humans are the pinnacle of evolution?

How can the same gene pool produce such scumbags as well as people like Joe and Elsbeth?

Day 35

Despair. Deep, dark, destructive despair. I've not had a bout this bad in ages and it hit me like a led balloon. I don't know what brought it on, perhaps it was something about the gloomy, grey skies, or the worry about the numerous eviction notices. Harry's absence has also troubled me quite a bit - I've become quite fond of that overweight bundle of conceit.

Despair has no life, no energy, no hope, just a gloomy sludge that pulls every glimmer of light inexorably downwards towards endless darkness.

So I haven't felt like writing.

At least until today.

There was a knock on the door, the first since Joe's departure. It was Elsbeth. She was worried about me and had found out where I lived by asking around. I was so touched by that act of friendship that the despair evaporated instantly. If I believed in angels I would surely wonder if she was of that kind.

Tomorrow I will go for a walk, do some food shopping and clean up this hovel. Can't be entertaining angels in this pigsty!