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A Bitter Blow - 11/12/12

I followed the plan to the letter.
I rose early to tend to the chickens. I armed the sentinels. I made certain to visit the bucket!
Then I retreated to await my fate.
The caravan was dark and very cold. The edges of the windows were misted with frost and rivelets of ice became the bars of my pathetic 'fortress'. But an ember of hope, deep deep within my being still glowed. Still believed. After an hour of anxious waiting it burned hotter. It sputtered when at 09:10 the mercenaries and their master, the self proclaimed "Rural Dragon" (see Cotswold Life!) Mr Amaury Blow, beat their way to my door.

The Blow residence. Hilles House, Edge. 4.4 miles away.

I kept silent, listening to what snippets of their conversation my ears could detect.
For a brief while the voices faded. I dared not allow any optimism in. If any managed to find its way to my heart, it evaporated when the expected, and I'll admit it, dreaded, thump thump thump came. My adrenaline levels spiked. This was it.

I maintained my silence. A name was called. 'Protocol' followed by the issue of the usual warnings and sabre rattling.
The thumps became more persistent. The lock rattled. A pause.

The rattle of the lock changed to one more ominous. I knew then that the wolf at my door intended to break it in regardless of whether I answered or not. My intuition was proved correct as the efforts of the invaders became more concerted. Irrespective of whether anyone was present. Though I had not intended to phone the police, I asked my partner, who was being fed updates via text messages, if I should. "Yes" came the immediate reply. I dialled the local non-emergency number just as the crowbar entered the fray.
By now, instinct controlled my reactions and my left hand held the lock and door shut as I battled the levering from the other side. I was resolute I would hold them back until the Police had arrived. I knew full well they would not intervene, certainly not on my behalf, but what had I to lose.
Unfortunately, the door gave up before the strength in my arm. The latch snapped, the wooden splintered,gave and fell away. I was defenceless.
Now came a stream of "court" this and "sheriff" that. It is with a tinge of shame that I recall I spoke rather forcefully and impolitely to Amaury Blow and Mr Gareth Thomas, who, Agent and Principal, had destroyed the door of my home.

I concede that when the bailiffs announced I was somehow now in breach of some random rule of theirs and they would call the police, I derived a slither of satisfaction in telling them they were already on their way. Ridiculous of me. I had only done the bullies a favour as I had feared by calling Her Majesty's enforcers.
The Policy enforcement brigade arrived. A brief interlude now followed as the bailiffs asked for me to be arrested. A cheshire cat grin just may have flickered across my face when their request was denied...
The female policy enforcement constable seemed offended when I declined her request to enter (I didn't want yet more potential threats!), told me the thugs had "papers" and asked me to explain what was going on. I highlighted the criminal damage done. Bewilderingly she appeared annoyed at that and stepped aside to allow the bailiffs through the door to assault me. Now assault does sound a bit strong, it was not as though punches were thrown, I was pulled out of my seat and shoved out of my door. But assault nonetheless.

Upon my exit, my defeat was complete. After a tirade at Mr Blow concerning his dishonourable and ungentlemanly behaviour I sat down and rolled a cigarette.

Like salt in the wound, they revealed their intention to not only now steal my home and mode of transport, but hold it to ransom. How very pirate like. State sanctioned they say!

I regained control of my faculties as the adrenaline and animal instincts faded. I confirmed with the hired muscle that when I was in my home and they were breaking into it, they knew I was not about to make their jobs easy, but nor was I ever going to retaliate or be aggressive.
I firmly believe it was my successful inner refusal to surrender to that fury which rises and boils within in such situations, that won their agreement to relocate the caravan and truck at my parents house down the road. If it had truly been a favour I would have been grateful. The truth is, it was merely the lesser of two evils. No one had any right to move anything!
One modicum of achievement came from my filming the agreement of Blow to pay for all my damages and expenses! I intend to hold him to it, though from his past behaviour I doubt he will have the integrity to honour his agreement.

A man evidently without any deeds to the land and the entitlement that goes with it, but money enough to "satisfy the courts" was so able to end the lives of myself, my partner, my 8 year old daughter and our baby at Bulls Cross, just 14 days from Christmas.

Approximately 9 months ago, when first approached, I asked that he verify his entitlement to the land and, if he was truly the 'owner' meet the cost of my moving, for without his request, it would not have been of my own volition. When he refused, I dropped all ancillary terms and asked only for him to prove his ownership by producing to me the deeds. Should he do so, I would negotiate my departure. He did not. I can only presume Mr Amaury Blow is a lying, deceitful, imposter though one with enough wealth to grease palms to enact his will and perpetuate his bluff.

A family that once were capable of looking after themselves free from 'The System' and had shelter of their own, are now homeless. His criminal agents have rendered our dwelling insecure and uninhabitable. Whilst our families have opened their homes to us, Amaury Blow has ensured that for four more humans to be suitably housed, the council has to foot the bill and find emergency accommodation. The rich, well and truly shitting on the poor. That is of course, if we apply and 'submit' for housing.

The very idea appalls me. It fills me with dread. But it has its merits and has been the recommendation of those aware of our predicament. Maybe it is worth entertaining at least til winter is passed.

My task now is to recover all I can of what remains, which includes the chickens, but not my garden trolley. That was thieved in the hour I was away for lunch. And it certainly wasn't stolen by the 'travellers', we've gone!

Whoever it was they're welcome to it, I have no need of it now.

So long Mr Blow! Let us hope no others choose to dwell at;

Bulls Cross,

It was kind of you to leave the gate open for them....

A Christmas present left for us by a kind, mystery, benefactor the night before our eviction.
Full circle. Battered and bruised back where the adventure began 3 years ago.

"Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold.

Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free.

Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses' heels.

Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many - they are few."

- The Masque of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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