(The tranquillity of Ireland – which now seems a long time ago.)

I came back from Sligo a week ago with a restored liver (month of no alcohol) and a headful of new philosophical ideas (month of intensive reading). I was happy and healthy, but mentally I was away with the leprechauns, ill-suited for the avalanche of reality that awaited me.

Homelessness loomed. I’d outstayed my welcome with my great mate Phil, especially after I inadvertently locked her out last Saturday and she had to spend the night with friends. It was time to move out, but I had nowhere to go, and no money to pay rent.

I had a call from the police to say they’d found my car, 4 months after it was stolen. This was bad news, as I’d already spent the anticipated settlement on my laptop. Instead of a substantial cash injection, I was now facing insurance premiums, MOT costs, and financial disaster.

And there was a major project due to be completed in the next 2 weeks – I’d initially rejected the job as incompatible with my more important objective of organising my next expedition, but now it seemed it was financially necessary.

For the first few days, life was a challenge. My head was up in the clouds and there was so much to cope with. I had to take it one moment at a time, and keep asking myself, ‘What would a normal person do now?’ I was faking it.

But I am happy to report that everything has worked out beautifully, and with no compromise to my new ideals.

I now have somewhere to live, as a result of a chance conversation in a shop where I was trying to sell a couple of items to raise cash. I have to be discreet, as it’s slightly unofficial, but suffice it to say that through someone’s great generosity, I have somewhere to live, in Richmond, rent-free.

With the car, I agreed with the garage from whose forecourt it was stolen that they would recover it (now sadly trashed) and pay the agreed settlement. The car is now theirs to repair and dispose of as they see fit.

And with those two things taken care of, I was able to turn down the unsuitable project, Someone else has already taken it on instead.

As a bonus, there’s a sniff of interest from a literary agent who has read the sample chapters of Three Peaks in Peru and now wants to read the rest of the manuscript. I’m still a long way from the book deal, but it’s an encouraging sign.

So life is good – welcome to the unpredictable but wonderful world of Roz!

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