Sunday, 16 February 2020

A Trilogy Of Tragedy

Bob, Billy and Lewis are REAL people. They are human beings but human beings society fails to recognise, fails to respect, fails to value and above all fails to love. These are not their real names but they are REAL people, indeed they are human beings just like you and just like me !

Thursday morning 4am. I was on my way to the radio studio to broadcast Dave's Disco the podcast from which was played on Saturday at the Dreamsai Lunch
of Love. I pulled up outside Milton Keynes Council's Civic Offices. I had a letter to push through the letter box, a letter complaining abut the council's failure to support a vulnerable adult. I knew I was wasting my time and the ink I had expended on a sheet of paper a waste but you have to go through the system don't you ?  The wind was blowing a gale and it was lashing down with rain.

There I met BOB. That's not his real name of course.

4am, this man was walking along. He turned to walk towards my car then changed his mind and moved off again. I opened the door: Hang on mate - wait - what do you want ?  I fumbled in the dark to find the letter to put through the council's letter box then stepped out to meet him.

Bob was a tall friend, I guess aged around thirty, who was soaked to the skin. I knew what he wanted. Or did I ?

Have you got a bit of change ?  Off to buy some drugs. A homeless rough-sleeper in search of his fix.  NO NO NO !  Homeless and rough-sleeping yes, soaked to the skin yes but he was NOT a drug addict. He was on his way to the all-night McDonald's primarily to be in the warm and out of the rain there to spend the few coins he had on something to eat. Even if he was begging for dug money I would have given him something - an addict is not a bad person but a victim of bad. I gave him money to buy a breakfast.

We then stood in the wind and rain talking for twenty or so minutes. What a lovely, beautiful man. Yes, he was homeless and rough-sleeping. His tent, just along the way from Milton Keynes Council's offices, had blown over. Many of his belongings had blown away, been picked up and stolen. Please do not tell me that Milton Keynes Council did not know he existed.

I talked to him about getting help but he knew the situation was futile. He said he wanted to get to Luton where the council is better at supporting homeless rough-sleepers. Is it ?  I don't know. The important thing is that was his perception.

He had problems with his eyes but could not get any help. He is a non-person. NO HE IS A HUMAN BEING.

NO, he was not a drug addict. I know how to recognise an addict, trust me he was not one. He explained that he had been an alcoholic and went on to say how he was treated and escaped the situation.  He told me how he had become homeless. His grandfather had been contributing £400 a month towards his rent. When his grandfather died the money stopped and the income he had working as a plasterer was not enough to pay for his private rented accommodation. I do not know if Milton Keynes was or was not the local authority - probably not and it does not matter but that local authority said it could not help. I said I did not know if it Was Milton Keynes Council or not, I can actually name SIX people the systems within Milton Keynes Council have in recent months have constructively made homeless. Not all ended up rough-sleeping but had it been left to the council they would have.

With every word of conversation my heart warmed to him, warmed while at the same bleeding. 

I returned to the car and grabbed one of the information sheets I have for Dreamsai on which I list phone numbers of help lines, details of the soup run and food bank locations. These are deliberately laminated so the information is not affected by the rain. I told him about Saturday's Dreamsai Lunch of Love and begged him to come along. He said he would.

As we parted, me off to the radio studio and Bob to McDonald's he kept thanking me, shaking my hand and saying how pleased he was to have spent time with me. When I got to the radio studio I was soaked to the skin. I broadcast my 279th show, if you listen
to the podcast you will hear how the friendship we had experienced in the wind and in the pouring rain outside Milton Keynes Council's Civic Offices lifted the show to a happy and I hope inspiring level.

Bob did not turn up to Dreamsai's Lunch of Love. After it was over I went in search of him. I could not find him. Perhaps he had gone to Luton. Perhaps he had died. Who cares ?  I CARE !  I am a human being, Bob is a human being, he is my friend and I CARE !

Billy is a regular visitor to the Dreamsai Lunch of
Love, we always have a little chat and a laugh but it is always small-talk.

At the lunch Bob failed to turn up to I overheard Billy, again that is not his real name, saying: If you are a drug addict Milton Keynes is NOT the place to find help.  If you have mental health issues and need help you will NOT find it in Milton Keynes. If you are homeless do NOT look for support you will NOT get it in Milton Keynes !

I approached Billy and pushed myself into his conversation. He suggested we step outside and speak in private. We talked for ages and ages, or should I say that Billy talked for ages and I listened.

Billy said he had had a brilliant life so being homeless and rough-sleeping was not what his life had been about and did not matter. As we talked it became clear his anger a frustration with the "system", an anger and frustration I share was not for himself but for others.

No, he is not a drug addict but watches every day the way criminals prey on and manipulate homeless rough-sleepers. 

I am wondering what Billy did earlier in life, I wouldn't mind betting he was a Professor of Philosophy in a major university.  He did not just talk about the failings of government, government covering decades -  indeed centuries, of the multiple failings of Milton Keynes Council but gave his insight into the causes of those failings.

Take a chicken, Billy said, hold it up. There is a LEFT WING and there is a RIGHT WING which never meet. Both fail to understand that there is a heart beating in the middle !

My way of regarding this level of failure is to say that the right wing is totally oblivious to the existence of REAL people. The left wing knows real people exist but thinks they are only there for them to play politics with. A politician, particularly at local level, will play to the gallery waving at those in the expensive corporate boxes but never look down to  see REAL people sitting in the stalls.

Billy talked about how criminal drug dealers groom vulnerable people, particularly chidren. His insight and passion was both deep and intense. He blamed a society where life revolves around a smart phone. I hate smart phones and refuse to use one. I think a smart phone is the world's worst invention. Billy explained how the younger generation today is being destroyed by the damn things.

Did you know, I said, there is a Class A drug dealer working out of YMCA Milton Keynes where he is living. This is something I was told and something I put into Crime Stoppers for the police to investigate.

You are wrong !  I was told by Bily. There is not one class a drug dealer operating out of YMCA Milton Keynes, there are TWO !

Billy told me there were one thousand people making money from the illegal drug trade in Milton Keynes. My immediate reaction was to say that was a gross
exaggeration but I fear it may not be.  If you want to buy illegal drugs I know that North Ninth Street adjacent to Milton Keynes Civic Offices is a good place to be. Another good place is Campbell Park named after Lord Campbell of Eskin, the Chairman of Milton Keynes Development Corporation. What a way to celebrate the achievement of this man !  There is, of course, what is known colloquially as The YMCA Bridge, that's an excellent place to buy drugs. many times I have told Milton Keynes Council of the drug came located there. Many times I have wasted my breath.

Billy knew the names of local politicians, departments within Milton Keynes Council and could explain at length his perception of their failure to recognise that in the centre of left and right wings there is a beating heart, a beating heart of a real person - a human
being. Sadly a human being that counts for nothing.

Lewis IS a drug addict. He has been an addict and homeless rough-sleeping for a number of years. I have known of the existence of Lewis for some time but I met him for the first time during our taking food from Dreamsai to homeless rough sleepers after the lunch.

The weather was harsher even than when I met Bob earlier in the week. Lewis was in a desperate situation. To avid the storm he had slept in a covered private car park. No, he shouldn't have done that but do you blame him ? The security had chased him away and thrown all his few belongings into a skip. What little he had he had lost. I saw his shoes, the soles were falling off and so his feet were wet. He was hungry and he was cold.

I began by verbally attacking the security guards for which I am now embarrassed, then backed off, apologised profusely and recovered Lewis's property. We all parted friends. Lewis and I are now friends.

With the wind blowing and the rain lashing we walked along to my car so we could sit and chat. Trying to hold his wet sleeping bag and his bits and pieces Lewis's trousers kept sliding down his legs revealing his underpants. He was so skinny and he did not have a belt to hold his trousers round his waist.

Talking in the car I wish there had been a camera to
broadcast the conversation to every television network in every country of the world. What an incredible man yet to so many he is sub-human and worthless. 

Our conversation covered three areas.

Lewis knew Jimmy  Owens who was found dead in his tent in Milton Keynes. Jimmy was one of my former
students from when I was head of year at Leon School. It was Jimmy's death that first moved mt to become involved i the lack of love for homeless rough-sleepers. 

Jimmy, I knew him as James, was a happy go lucky teenager with a great life ahead of him. As Lewis described him he had not changed. Lewis said he was always cracking a joke and larking about. Jimmy died three and a half years ago, DO NOT believe the lies  and fake news in the media !  His death DID NOT spur Milton Keynes Council into action. If it had then Lewis and others like him would not be in their current situation.

Throughout those years Lewis has not been able to
get any help. We talked and he said he was trying to get ID. ID aint going to put dry warm clothes on his body. ID aint going to put food in his belly and stop his trousers falling down all the time. ID aint going to find him somewhere warm and dry to sleep. ID aint going to give him the love he needs.

We talked about drugs. If you want to end criminal drug activity in Milton Keynes then Lewis is the man to take advice from. His philosophy is if drugs were decriminalised, as they are in certain enlightened parts of the world, and sold under licence as is alcohol and tobacco it would no longer be cool, cool is the word he used, to take drugs and they would fade into a background of insignificance. Given that never happening he knew exactly how to set up a support system, a support system which currently does not exist in Milton Keynes.

Lewis believes in the death penalty for some serious
crimes but he also firmly believes that petty crime and anti-social behaviour associated with drug addiction MUST be punished with community service orders so offenders can give back constructively to society. Those community service orders must be  a positive a experience for those engaged in them and they have to be part of a larger programme of support and reform.

He talked about the lack of support for addicts which means the situation in Milton Keynes is and always will be on an upward spiral.

We then talked about my hobby of writing and my ambition to engage people like Lewis in writing stories. It could be fiction or it could be their own autobiographies. Autobiography means SELF - LIFE - WRITING.  I see it as a support mechanism for the victims and a way to grab hold of those like Milton Keynes Council which fails to recognise human beings.

When we parted Lewis kept hugging me and thanking me. I got into my Jaguar and drove home to my warm home and something to eat. Lewis bundled his belongings into his wet sleeping bag then set off in search of somewhere to spend the night.

I am publishing this account A TRILOGY OF TRAGEDY as a blog. I am inviting those who read it to e-mail me with their comments: dashford566@gmail.com or hit me on Facebook.  I will keep your comments anonymous but will add them to the text. I will then send it to every single member of Milton Keynes Council. I will edit the text to remove the words Milton Keynes and Council so making it geographically anonymous. I will then publish on Amazon as: A TRILOGY OF TRAGEDY - AN ESSAY SHAMING CRUELTY.




Monday, 10 February 2020

Help The Homeless With My Books

I have finished proof reading my new book - OMG how many typo's - oopppsss - oh dear - what a shame - never mind.

I am going to try to publish it as an e-book by Monday 17th February then to have it available on Amazon by Friday 21st February. Royalties from the book will be used within THE SUNSHINE SMILE CREW to help people smile and be happy.

I have been banging on about finding people to help market my books to make money we can use in our projects.  I am not giving up on this but right now I
am going to do something myself. Allow me to take you through some of my books, every penny you spend will direct my royalties 100% to helping our homeless rough-sleeping friends.

CLICK HERE and buy the e-book of The Wild Adventures Of Di Central Eating.  It will cost you 99p. The royalties will be about 40p which will be spent within Dreamsai to fund all we do at Saturday's Lunch of Love. I wrote this book 25 years ago. It could be read by a child aged 11 to around 14 years but really it is an adult's view of a child's life. It is fiction but ever adventure is based on something I did as a child. CLICK HERE and spend 99p.

Here's something a bit more expensive - this will cost you £1.99 !  CLICK HERE and be generous. Royalties will be about £1 which will pay for a packed tea of sandwiches, cake, sweets and a biscuit to give to one of our rough-sleeping friends. This is my schoolboy autobiography. LEONITES have a read and find out what a horrible little boy your former head of year was when he was at school ! CLICK HERE and read, even if you think the 100% factual autobiography is rubbish you will send a packed tea of love to one of my rough-sleeping friends.

And here is my teenage autobiography - cost you another £1.99 - again this will pay for a packet of sandwiches and more for one of my friends.  Be generous and CLICK HERE.

Amazon will pay out on Monday 2nd March, the money will be used within Dreamsai on Saturday 7th March and hopefully if I can sell enough books there will, be money for every Saturday during the month. EVERY PENNY will
help a real person - NOTHING will be spent in an y other way.

This is my top-selling book so far this month. It will cost you £1.99 for an e-book. From this the royalties are £1.05. CLICK HERE and be generous.

As a student teacher I lived in Bletchley Park and have used my knowledge of the park to inspire the story.  I am not an artist but I love the work of L S Lowery so he is a character in my story. Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill also cross the path of my central character.  CLICK HERE and be generous.

By far this in my opinion is the best book I have ever written.  My grandmother is the central character but beyond that her life in the book and the lives of all other characters are fiction. The book takes the reader through the times in which my grandmother lived. She was eleven year old when the story begins on the day the nation learned of the death of Queen Victoria, it is then a love story covering eight decades. Cost you £1.49 to buy an e-book. CLICK HERE  The royalties will come to about 75p which will buy four packets of cup-a-
soup. CLICK HERE

One last book then I'll publish the blog. Peter's Magic Fountain Pen was the very first book I had published. I wrote it for my son Peter's 12th birthday, he  is  now 39 !

Peter inherits a pen from his great grandfather. Every time he write is is transported back in time to where he is writing. Peter Morgan finds he is descended from Pirate Henry Morgan. This will cost you 99p giving about 40p to our Lunch Of Love - CLICK HERE that will buy a prize in our FREE Tombola of Love at Dreamsai. THANK YOU - CLICK HERE

Right time to click the mouse and publish the blog. Click your mouse and help my friends.




Saturday, 8 February 2020

I need you to invest your love - BIG TIME !

I am writing two blogs today - when you have finished reading this page PLEASE CLICK HERE and read the second page. PLEASE !

I am not going to mess about I WANT YOUR LOVE. In saying that I am targeting the sixty-nine members of The Sunshine
Smile Crew - each and every one of you but I want to put something to a much wider audience.

I have been a part of The Dreamsai Family since October but I have had a passion for the plight of our homeless and rough-sleeping friends since my LEONITE former student Jimmy was found dead sleeping in a tent in Central Milton Keynes.

I go to Dreamsai every Saturday excited and buzzed
up but usually I come home feeling sad and broken hearted. NOT YESTERDAY. I was buzzed up then and woke up at 3am this morning still buzzed up. I could not sleep so here I am at stupid o'clock asking for YOUR LOVE.

That picture at the top of the page - this picture let me share it again.

That was the sight that met me as I pulled up and parked my car. Inside The Buzzy where Dreamsai's lunch is held there was a man with his head down on the table fast asleep. After an hour he awoke and ate a curry. As I left he was back here in his home curled up in a sleeping bag.

One man came in and said: Please I a hungry. He was not hungry when he left.

Another FRIEND said to me: Hey' how's the DJ Man this week ?  Every Saturday we play the podcast from my Thursday radio show as background music to the lunch.

If you want to listen to it you can - CLICK HERE.

Another friend engaged me to talk about his tastes in music which included David Bowie and Queen - he was far too young to remember either when they were at their height. He
was amazed when I told him both had played at Milton Keynes Bowl. There was a Bon Jovi shirt in or Freebie Box. He proudly took it away with him.

I had been out the day before buying socks and hats to put in the Freebie Box. All are now worn by our friends.

The week before a man said to me: I have nothing but I still have my smile and NOBODY is going to take that away from me. He was back again this week, smiling and jigging to the music.

Now this is the important bit, the important bit before I twist your arm up your back and DEMAND your love.

Before they left every single guest came and said THANK YOU - it was not a simple polite thank you but
a deep, genuine and heartfelt THANK YOU.

These are REAL people, they are my friends. They are NOT statistics in some silly box-ticking list within Milton Keynes Council. These are LOVELY real people, kind people.

Another man asked me if he could take some of the sandwiches we had prepared to give to other homeless and rough-sleeping people. He explained they were too proud to come and ask for help. When he said proud he really meant embarrassed.

Have you checked the second blog page ?  Make sure
you do before you shut down and go away.  PLEASE CLICK HERE 

Every Saturday morning members of our Dreamsai Family prepare delicious food at home. This is then taken into The Buzzy as The Lunch of Love for our guests.


The Sunshine Smile Crew helps serve the meals and adds some little bits of fun to help our guests smile.

We have our Tombola Of Love with every number a
winner.

We have added cup-a-soup to the drinks menu of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. We have added a variety of cold drinks.

BE PATIENT I WILL GET TO THE BIT ABOUT YOUR LOVE IN A MOMENT !

I can't sleep, I never can. On Saturday at 4am I was in the kitchen making cakes to form part of a packed tea guests could take away with them. I made 25 packs with each containing either cheese or chocolate spread sandwiches, a sausage roll, sweets, tomatoes, Kit Kat bar and one of my cakes.


At the end of Dreamsai's Lunch Of Love there were six of the twenty-four packs left. It was Julie's idea, Julie Queen of the Kettle, that we go out into Central Milton Keynes and find people who had not come to the Lunch of Love to give them a packed tea. Julie had
her lovely granddaughter with her who often comes to help, she is always an important part of what we do and there she was yesterday helping to give out the packed tea.

I do not want to make myself sound big and grand but I paid for the bits and pieces to go into the Freebie Box, I paid for the packed tea sandwiches, I paid for the drinks and I paid for the tombola of love.  OK I'll pay again next week but I do not want to, I want YOU to pay !

Those hats I put into The Freebie Box cost me £1 each from Poundland.

I want you to go and buy one or two for nest week's box. Or give me the money and I will buy it for you.

Are you into knitting ?  If you are then please knit one. Get started now, we need the hats for next week.

The socks cost me £4 for a pack of four. We need about 12 pairs for next week.  No messing go out and buy some for these wonderful people - REAL PEOPLE - who come to our lunch of love.

Are you listening to that video I played just now ?  You netter had be !



Our tombola is a bit of fun, a bit of love, it is not Las Vegas when it comes to the prizes. We buy multi-packs of Mars Bars, Kit Kats, Milky Way at £1. I want you to buy a pack and add it to the tombola for next week. But it or give me the money and I will buy it for you.

We are OK for cold drinks and for cup-a-soup but I want you to invest your love into the packed tea for guests.

We need two loaves of medium slices bread. We need 24 Morrisson's Saver Sausage Rolls costing £1 a pack. We need tomatoes,
loose but wrapped sweets and we need a chocolate bar/biscuit. We need cup cakes, 24 of them - will you make some ?  What else could we add ?  Morrissons has packets of mini Cedars on offer at the moment.

Boring but we need sandwich bags to pack everything in.

So which area are you going to inject with your love ?

I have also mentioned hats and socks for the freebie box. AS A MATTER OF URGENCY we need jumpers, jogging bottoms, trainers and shoes. We need tee shirts including Bon Jovi shirts. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE turn out your cupboards.

Don't forget to check out the twin blog page will you
- don't you dare forget ! 

To invest your love hit me on FACEBOOK but don't like or share this blog without also investing your love. 

You can e-mail me at dashford566@gmail.com

Officially Dreamsai's Lunch Of Love runs from 12.30pm to 1.30pm but as we start setting up around 12 noon guests begin to arrive. I want the success of Julie's idea to take our packed tea out and about to become a regular feature.

Te role of THE SUNSHINE SMILE CREW has
developed into supporting the amazing food family members prepare in their homes during the morning, to support it being served at the lunch. At the moment we have The Geriatric DJ and Julie Queen of the Kettle. It is lovely when Julie is able to bring her granddaughters. Some weeks Jelena is able to join us.

With more support from within THE SUNSHINE SMILE CREW we could do more to enhance this amazing lunch provided by DREAMSAI. Could you help ?  A one off Saturday or every week !  I promise you will find it a beautiful experience.





Life Is A Typo - I made thousands of them !

It's part of my philosophy -LIFE IS A TYPO, IF YOU DO NOT MAKE ANY YOU ARE NOT LIVING IT PROPERLY.

Having finished my book The Fantasies Of A Silly Old Man I am now busy proof reading the text ahead of rewriting certain bits and pieces ahead of publication.
I have had a number of people say they enjoyed reading the draft chapters I posted here on this bog but I am so embarrassed that they have read it with so many, many typo's !  I am averaging around one
every other paragraph !

I am still hoping to publish the e-book on Friday 15th February but this may have to be put back a bit. As well as the typo's I will, of course, need to rewrite a few passages. Let me say that both the e-book and paperback will be available by 24th February. That's an important date which I will explain later.

I don't think the cover is going to work. No an artist I am not but it appears to me that the contrast is not
great enough and the image I have is not of high enough definition.   Perhaps something using this image may work.

I am wondering if this on the right could form the title page.     

This book has to be a best seller. No question about that.

Here I am writing at 4.35am on Sunday 9th February 2020. My royalties from Amazon Publishing for the month so far stand at £1.05 after tax. Oh yes, Amazon deducts tax at source !

I need The Fantasies Of A Silly Old Man to make £1,000 a month.     

My February royalties to date come from selling this book in America.

There are Amazon millionaires you know. As well as royalties there is a mega prize fund for the top selling authors.

I need a slice of that money to fund the activities of THE SUNSHINE SMILE CREW. Everything we do is paid for out of my own pockets. Our three years of operation not a single penny has been taken from the good causes we support.

Allow me to set modesty aside. The only difference between my books and those in Amazon's best seller list is they are promoted while mine are not. To make The Ramblings Of A Silly Old Man I need someone to work with me and market it. I need someone who
understands how Amazon's internet market system works - easy to learn I guess, someone who can use social media and bring in that £1,000 a month. 

I have been trying in vain to find that person. I have been down the road of trying to find someone from a marketing background and failed.  I considered seeking out a uni student burdened with debt but not have done anything about it. I am
wondering if any of the good causes w work with may be able to supply the right person.

When the right person is in place he/she will get 50% of the monthly sales either for their own pocket or for the good cause they represent. The other 50% will go THE SUNSHINE SMILE PROJECTS.  This is NOT pie in the sky, within Amazon this is a perfectly achievable sum of money.

The book has to be published and available for purchase by 24th February - that date is set in stone - as that is the day before we launch our project ROCKING FOR THE FOOD BANK. Within this I will be asking people to sponsor me to finish my book The Fantasies Of A Geriatric DJ by donating tins and packets to The food Bank.

Once finished I am going to need a marketing manager for that book.
I have not written a book for children for some time although that was how I started my published writing career. I would like to have a go at this book within the Rocking For The Food Bank project. We will see what happens but Fantasies Of A Geriatric DJ is a must and it is a must to find a marketing manager for this.

I think it will take me at least a year to write The Lottery Of Evil. It is essential this become a mega best seller. I want it to achieve one thing within my campaign around drug addiction. I want it to help raise public awareness and to firmly state that a drug addict is not a bad person but a victim deserving society's help and support.

To help me write this book I want to have a small group of people who will review the draft text as I write, not to pick out the typo's but to comment on what I am saying and advise if I am getting the message over.

So will you help this Silly Old Man become an Amazon Best Seller ? Would you like to help me market my writing ?  I'll give you half of the fortune we make.  Honestly, if I can find the right person for each book THIS will happen.

To conclude this blog CLICK HERE and have a look at the titles I have currently published. Check out the bookshelf, you may even like to help me increase this month's royalties. Every single sale will help the good causes we work with.