CAMBRIDGE COURT CHRONICLES

being a true account of life in a sheltered housing complex in Ringsend Dublin

Tag: bullies

I’M NOT MAD

I often find myself wondering if I am mad or if I am just imagining all the bullying and intimidation that passes for normal life in Cambridge Court. It is quite natural to doubt yourself when every day is a living nightmare and everyone else seems to be getting along fine. It is very very common this self-doubt. But every so often something happens and suddenly , in a flash , you realise that no you’re not mad…….

A few months ago I happened to be standing in the garden area in Cambridge Court just getting some fresh air and one of the tenants approached me. He asked me if I thought Dublin City Council would let him bring in a garden shed to put around the back behind the common room…..there are some already there but these belong to the bullies. I told him that I figured the bullies would complain to the council and of course the council would do what they always do- ie back up the bullies. But then I said that if he needed somewhere for his tools or gardening stuff he should ask anyway. And then…….then he said something that made me almost want to cry with joy. He told me he didn’t want it for tools or gardening equipment – he wanted a shed because then he would have somewhere to sit in in the day time and somewhere  sleep in at night. He had indicated to me prior to this that he didn’t like his flat ….that , like me , he had grown to hate the environment he was living in.

For years I had been fantizing about how wonderful it would be if only I could find a shed somewhere to live in. For years, literally for years I had wandered the streets in the early hours of the morning looking down alleyway at those sheds people have at the end of their gardens wondering if they might rent one out to me. It was of course a sort of madness because I knew nobody would……

But when two tenants , quite independent of each other,  arrive at the conclusion that they would be better off living in a shed then there is something very wrong.

Get A Life Women’s Group Ringsend Dublin.

I have been invited to a party. A local woman’s group , the so called Get A Life Women’s Group has invited me and all the other tenants here in Cambridge Court to a party in our own  common room.  It feels quite odd to be invited to a party in your own home by someone who doesn’t live there themselves. It certainly takes  quite a bit of cheek and good old hard neck. This is one of the many groups who use Cambridge Court day centre on a regular basis. They are fully aware that while they are having a good time tenants are confined to their one room flats too intimidated to complain. Many tenants have in fact died in Cambridge Court without ever having had the use of this day room. The Get A Life Group are fully aware of this…it has been explained to them that they and several other groups are bullying tenants , that tenants are too intimidated to use the common room / day centre themselves….It has been further explained to them that the only reason they were invited in was as a means of the bullies exercising intimidation and control over the tenants  – and , by the way , this policy has been very successful.

These people are BULLIES. They are no better than any lowlife street thugs and probably do far more damage to old and vulnerable people.

 

I’m not dead yet

It is over two months or so since I last posted anything here. Nothing has changed …….the bullies are still running the place. No one cares.  I am , I suppose , wasting my time but what else is there to do ? Is there anyone out there actually reading the blog ?

SENIOR CITIZEN BORSTAL CAMBRIDGE COURT

It is just gone 1:00 am and I’m sitting in the common room in Cambridge Court. I have a hundred  things to write about but I’ve said them all before…..And so here I am staring at a blank page on my laptop with nothing to say.  As it says in the good book , “There is nothing new under the sun”. And there is certainly  nothing new in Cambridge Court.

Here is a short video clip of the common room in Cambridge Court. As you can see it is actually a snooker/bingo hall and it attracts the kind of people you expect to find hanging around a snooker hall. It looks like a recreation room in a borstal but as the tenants have been bullied out of using the place I suppose it doesn’t  really matter. The music playing in the background is the Shadows , “The Frightened City” which is quite appropriate……..I brought the record player into the common room a few months ago  and set it up in a nice spot with some LP records but was told I had to move it as it was in the way of the bingo  crowd  ( this bingo crowd don’t actually live in Cambridge Court). These thugs run Cambridge Court under the protection (and encouragement) of Dublin City Council.

DOING TIME WITH THE BULLIES

It is exactly 6 years and 6 months since I first moved into Cambridge Court. I doubt if I will live for another 6 years…….. It is two weeks since I was offered a transfer out of Cambridge Court to a place that was probably no better and perhaps a lot worse. I don’t have time on my side. I’m not going to live forever. I’m getting older by the minute……..and I do feel old. And so , that question that Lenin asked , “What is to be done”. Do I just give up , let the bullies have their way and resign myself to spending my last few years ( or months)  living a life that’s not worth living. That’s a rhetorical question. Such an option is no option. So , what IS to be done ?

Every day I think of the bullies. Every minute of every day I think of those bullies. I will think of them right up to the very second that I die. And I think of the thugs in Dublin City Council who willfully and deliberately  support those bullies in each and every act of bullying and intimidation. I have nothing else to do but think. I am not going away. I’m not giving up.  I’m watching……..

DEATH SENTENCE

A few days ago I got yet another letter from Dublin City Council. I did not read it as I’m sure it’s not a letter of apology on their part for the years of intimidation that tenants in Cambridge Court have had to suffer. But it seems likely that they will evict me. I don’t know how long this will take but I imagine it will be a couple of months or so. At my age being evicted would be tantamount to a death sentence. It is quite impossible to get an affordable flat in Dublin just now and if your old and working class then it is probably pointless to even try to find somewhere. There are of course homeless shelters and hostels but these are not the sort of place that any normal person would want to live in. So if I was evicted it would just mean that I would have to live on the street. At my age and in my state of health I would not last very long -perhaps a couple of weeks but not much more than that.

Funnily enough none of this is any surprise to me. When I first made an official complaint of bullying to Dublin City Council about a year  ago I knew that eventually it would come down to this. Every victim of institutional  type bullying  fully understands  that if they push the issue then it’s only a matter of time before they are turned on by the very people who are supposed to be protecting them. Most victims  just suffer in silence and die before their time. Obliviously  I’m not happy about this situation that I am in but there are worst things than dying…..and we are all going to die at some point so it might as well be now as any other time. Fear is a very potent weapon and bullies and their protectors thrive on it. As a weapon it works very well …..unless that is , you overplay your hand and push people too far. And if you do push people too far have they  a moral right to hit back ? Have they a legal right to hit back ? This is a perfectly legitimate question. It is a perfectly reasonable question to ask and the fact that some people may not be happy that  this  question is being asked does not alter anything. This was one of the questions raised by the Nuremberg trials.

It is Friday afternoon here in Dublin and it is a wet miserable day. I am sitting in my flat while the bullies are in the Common Room enjoying themselves. No one else is there but that is not unusual. They seem particularly  brazen these last few weeks and are , I would imagine , enjoying this whole situation. But I would hate to be living inside their heads……

BULLIES 1 VICTIMS 0

Yesterday evening at 6:30 I was having my dinner when two Garda detectives  knocked on my door. They had come to see me about my blog. They were polite , even friendly and left after I agreed to moderate some of the language  I use in my blog. They were here for perhaps twenty minutes. It was not intimidating in any way -although any visit from the police tends to make one a little uncomfortable. But like I say , they were courteous and polite so not harm done. Or at least no obvious harm done……

The reason they called on me  was that the bullies in Cambridge Court complained to the Gardai and Dublin City Council and presumable the council complained to the Gardai. The fact that the Gardai might not see it that way does not alter the facts. The Gardai did not call on Dublin City Council to ask them why tenants are being bullied , nor did they call on the bullies and ask them to desist. And a couple of years ago when I was threatened  by one of the bullies their  only response was to tell me that they could not get involved as it was a matter for Dublin City Council. The simple fact is that the only thing this visit from the Gardai achieved was to make the bullies feel even more invincible than they already are. The finer arguments and small print are academic -the bullies got what they wanted. That’s the bottom line. Nothing has changed apart from that. No one , not one single soul felt threatened by what I wrote in my blog and the fact that I will moderate my language  in future will probably not even be noticed.

The Gardai will feel they have done their duty and protected the community. The council will feel that they have put me back in my cage and in my place and the bullies…….They will just sit back  scratch their bellies and snigger as they continue to bully. Game set and match. And as to the tenants  (victims) – well , as I keep repeating , they just don’t matter. Things will go on just as they always have……and by the way , your paying for all this with your  taxes.

HOW GOOGLE SUPPORTS BULLYING

cambridge court interior 007

This is the interior of the Day Centre in Cambridge Court. Please double-click on the image to get a full appreciation of just how stark / sterile and  uninviting this room really is. It  looks like a recreation room in a prison / homeless shelter or some other such institution. There are no easy chairs or carpeting or anything to soften the austerity. The kitchen , where tenants are supposed to be able to make tea for their visitors or guests  is locked.  It is permanently  locked. The woman who holds the key ( ex matron) has refused to give the key to tenants who wish to use the kitchen. There is a snooker table in the middle of the room. Most mornings cursing/swearing  from the snooker players can be heard through the open door – so much so that on sunny days tenants who might wish to sit in the garden area are forced to return to their flats and close their doors to get away for the bad language and attendant noise.  The ex matron sits in this Day Centre most of the day and every day of the week. She is a coarse vulgar woman with an intimidating manner who is quick to take every opportunity to abuse fellow tenants. Given all of this it is of course  understandable that so  few tenants  use the Day Centre. I personally only go in there at night and then just to get away from the noise of the pub across the road ( Sally’s Return). None of this is an accident. This situation exist because it suits the bullies/thugs who are permitted by Dublin City Council to run Cambridge Court in a manner that suits only them. Dublin City Council are aided in this by the various do-gooders who inflict themselves on the tenants for reasons  that in turn suit these do-gooders.  One example of such people is Google.

This is not the place or time to do an in-dept analysis of the true nature and character of Google . Suffice it is to say that Google are the biggest facilitators of pornography in the history of human kind. They work hand in hand with some of the most oppressive regimes in the world. They hold masses of personal information on you and I which could never be justified in the normal run of things  and the spend a fortune seeing to it that they pay as little tax as possible. Google is not some sort of  liberal or benevolent entity but it has a genius for marketing itself as such and has for the most part been very successful in this regard. One very important string in this bow of Google’s is its self perpetuated reputation  for putting money and good work back into the community.  (Considering the millions that they make the money they ‘put back’ is indeed  miniscule). Google  has no real interest in the local community. Hundreds of  indigenous  locals were ethnically cleansed out of the area of Docklands to make way for the Dockside apartments that the new Google workforce  would expect and need. Google’s  only interest is Google. The local community is just something to be exploited with the sole purpose of making Google look good. Recently ( just a few days ago ) Google sent some Google employees down to Cambridge Court as volunteers to repaint the Day Centre. They did not ask me or any other of the tenants if they wanted  this but simply sat down with the bullies and decide to do it. If they had asked me I would have explained that there was NO benefit  to the tenants in all this and that the only people who would in fact benefit would be the various groups of local people who use Cambridge Court for bingo or choir / sing song practice of various other activities. These people are of course friends of the bullies and are the ONLY people who actually use the Day Centre in Cambridge Court in the evenings. The tenants are in effect barred from the place and have to spend their nights in their flats looking at the walls if they don’t have anything better to do. And as I have already stated no one uses it in the day time either for obvious reasons. Google have the reward of the ensuing good publicity / political capital they get out of ‘helping’ the local senior citizens and the bullies take a bow for being instrumental in bringing this largesse  in the first place.  Both parties walk away smelling of roses. Dublin City Council look on with a benevolent smile on their face and everyone is truly happy. The myth that the old folk in Cambridge Court are being cared for and cherished grows  ever bigger. The power of the bullies expands with every charitable act……Everyone is happy.  Google get to look good…..Google is happy. The council get to feel and look good for providing the ‘ hardware’ in the first place and all the various other attendant do-gooders get to feel good (and empowered to do even more good)  so really and truly everyone is happy. The fact that Cambridge Court is a nasty , intimidating and lonely reality for most tenants is simply not an issue.

cambridge court interior 009

 

Not only have Google painted the place but they have also fitted a bank of electrical sockets along one of the walls for new computers they are supplying to the bullies. I say they are being put in for the bullies as they and their hanger- ons are the only people who use the computers or anything else in the Day Centre. The only practical difference all of this will make is to give the whole place and even more clinical/industrial look than it already has. And it will probable also faciliitate the bringing in from outside  Cambridge Court even more groups to use the place further isolating /intimidating the people who actually live there. I would like to invite you again to double click on the above images so that you might understand just how cold/clinical and generally uninviting this place is.

You may feel that all of this is pettiness and even vindictiveness  on my part but it has to be seen in context. When I first moved into Cambrdidge Court I wrote about the bullying in my blog. The bullies had their own semi-officail Cambridge Court blog but it was buried somewhere between page 50 and 80 of  Google , so much so that it took me over six months to actually find it. The bullies were not happy about my blog and tried in various ways  to intimidate and isolate me but as this just drew attention to my blog (and more traffic) they soon realized the value of having ones  blog on page one of Google  (as mine was) so they contacted Google who obligingly came out and fixed their blog so it now features in first place on the first page of Google (it is almost never updated and has or had no readers) . It is immovable. It is stuck there. It is fixed. I should say here that Google knew I had a blog that was dealing with bullying in Cambridge Court. They had read my blog and even complemented me on it……..even going so far as to suggest that I help them teach other tenants about how to blog. The fact that I declined their offer did not help I’m sure to make them sympathetic to my anti-bullying cause. Google’s  sole contribution in all of this was to give the bullies even more power than they already had and this AFTER I had informed them  of exactly what was going on. While all this was going on Crooscare  decided to start a snooker tournament so now we have even  more people coming into the Day Centre. These people spend most of the time swearing/cursing at the top of their voices so much so that on sunny days tenants have to forgo the sun and lock themselves in their flats to get away from the noise. And here’s the beauty of it– Crosscare don’t pay a penny in rent to Dublin City Council . They did not have to wait on the waiting list for 5 to 10 years….They are not  tenants of Dublin City Council and yet they , with the blessing of Dublin City Council have forced this nuisance on myself and other tenants. There are a whole army of people out there who don’t live in Cambridge Court , don’t pay rent in Cambridge Court but in spite of this have  a greater say in how Cambridge Court is run than any tenant is ever likely to have. Crooscare don’t pay rent – I do ……but Dublin City Council don’t listen to me , don’t care if I’m happy or not or even if I am suicidal. And let me repeat something that I said in a previous post.  Tenants have transferred out of Cambridge Court because they were being driven to thoughts of suicide.

As I write this it is Tuesday night , bingo night in Cambridge Court. The Day Centre is packed with people who don’t live in Cambridge Court. The tenants are stuck in their flats and if they are lonely and depressed  then that’s just tough luck…….And now , one last photo…….take a look at this last photo. It looks quite innocent. But double click on this photo and then consider what I have to say…..

tea

I took this photo today. These cups are set out for the bingo crowd who will be in the Day Centre tonight playing bingo. None of these people live in Cambridge Court. On Thursday night and Friday night the cups will be laid out  again for  the other groups of non resident who use Cambridge Court on those nights. I have seen neighbours of mine die in Cambridge Court , I’ve watched people waste away with cancer and then die isolated and lonely in their flats……but I have never NEVER seen ANY tenant EVER have a cup of tea in the Day Centre.  I have seen people bullied out of their homes in Cambridge Court. I have seen tenants who walk the streets every day of the week and sit alone in their flats seven nights a week and NEVER NEVER have I seen even one of these people have a cup of tea in the Day Centre.  This is supposed to be the place where tenants can  go in to  sit down have a little chat and maybe a cup of tea and company ……but no one uses it. The bullies have seen to that.

This is wrong. This is immoral. This is nasty.

All the above was written yesterday. Today the snooker crowd were in Cambridge Court. For several hours they wandered in and out of the Day Centre cursing , swearing and drinking tea from the now open kitchen/canteen while the ex matron sat there wallowing ( a suitable word) in the glow of it all. The nasty habit some of them had of spitting on the ground at the door of the Day Centre did not seem to bother her in the least. This went of for hours until they left at which point the kitchen was locked up again as it will remain until tomorrow night when another group who don’t live in Cambridge Court will be in to use the Day Centre. This is wrong. This is nasty and it is immoral. This is BULLYING. ………..and it is going on every day of the week in Cambridge Court.

SALLY’S RETURN the dirties pub in Ireland

Across the road from Cambridge Court there is pub called Sally’ Return. It is now 9:45 and the noise from this pub is drifting into my flat. Even with the door and window closed and my TV on I just cannot escape the THUMP THUMP THUMP from this low life hangout. Immediately  behind the pub is a sheltered housing hostel for women and children. On quite literally hundreds of times  I have had to leave my flat and walk the street at all hours of the night and early morning just to get away from this noise.  The Gardai will do nothing. They tell me there is nothing they can do ……they don’t have the manpower etc etc. Of course if I were to put a bottle through the window of this pub that manpower problem would cease to  exist in a flash. I have stated before in this blog that I have never been to bed before 3:00 am. No matter how ill I might feel , no matter how tired and unwell I might be I cannot rest.

The strain of all this , coupled with ill health and the bullying atmosphere in Cambridge Court itself  will eventually kill me. That’s a simple statement  of fact. The noise from this pub and my inability to deal with it much longer  will  most certainly kill me. It is a simple as that. This is not simply a matter of my opinion – its an objective statement of fact.

So what should I do ? Should I just continue as I am , getting sicker , older , less able to cope. Should I sit back and let my life drift away one miserable day after another until  I run out of days ? I have no rights. There IS nothing I can do. So what am I to do…… I have considered killing these people. That may sound extreme but the situation is extreme.  I have often thought of killing all of these people , putting them out of their misery. They are all thugs and bullies. They are exploiting to the full the fact that I am weak. They understand fully the misery they cause me and others and simply don’t give a proverbial damn. Right now as I write this the noise is going THUMP THUMP THUMP and literally 6 paces from the back of this pub is a hostel full of  children…..and its been going on for years…..And they are not going to stop unless someone stops them and that’s just not going to happen. So killing them is the only way. If I had a gun I would not hesitate for a second. I would shoot the lot of them and shoot anyone , man woman or child who got in my way. But , (problems/problems)  I don’t have a gun. And killing a large group of people is not easy…….But I think about it a lot …….The noise is getting louder and louder. The phone is just a few inches away but there is no point in calling the police. They are not there to protect me.  As I have said over and over , the bullies are never the problems – its the people who protect the bullies that are the problem.

It really is getting louder and louder. I’ll have a cup of coffee now and then leave my flat and go sit in the Day Centre until  THEY decide THEY want to got to bed. I don’t feel well …..and I’m getting old. I’m tired of this. This is not living. I have often though of suicide …. but if it comes to that I WILL take these low life with me. But like I say , killing a large group of people is not easy. Its not impossible. But its not easy either. But if I think of it all long enough (and it is impossible not to) then perhaps I will find a way.

I wrote all this last night and rereading it now it  does sound quite extreme. Be that as it may , the fact is that it is also honest. Just now , as I write this , I’m listening to Messiaen on my record deck – “The Celestial Banquet”.  I like Messiaen in spite of the fact that I have no interest in religion.  I picked up a load of classical records in Oxfam and am going through them right now. There is an other-world  quality to Messiaen’s  music which appeals to me….but I like most 20th Century music. It helps to keep me sane. And we all need something to keep us sane , don’t we ! My mother used to say that there is always someone worse off , which is of course very true , but if I had my way there would be a lot more people a lot worse off …..and permanently so to.

Oh dear , oh dear oh dear……happiness is a warm gun . Indeed indeed…..and many a true word spoken in jest , etc etc etc. There’s always someone worse off and it will all work out in the end.  Indeed it will.  Failing that , perhaps the roof will fall in or the sky fall….or something – Something always happens. That’s one thing we can be sure of.  And tomorrow is another day if , that is , we live to see it.

Cambridge Court at Night

day centre 003

It is 12:30 at night and I’m typing this out in the Day Centre in Cambridge Court. I should be in my flat watching the world cup but the noise from the pub across the road has made that impossible.  This is no way to live. Six years living in Cambridge Court and 68 years of age and I have never once been to bed before 3:00 AM.  So much for sheltered housing. So much for the ‘caring community’.  This will go on until I die. The ironic thing is that many of the low life making noise in the pub tonight  have a free run of Cambridge Court when they want to play their bingo or whatever.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so sick. As you can see from the photo the Day Room is like a room in an institution ( which of course Cambridge Court is). I would be more than happy to buy some armchairs and couches for the place and maybe a coffee table and some rugs to make the place more inviting and comfortable but that would not suit the bullies. Making the place nice for the tenants would interfere with the bingo. And as you know , there’s money to be made at the bingo….especially if your a bully who runs the place as if it was his own personal fiefdom.

The Day Centre in Cambridge Court looks and smells like  an institution. It’s about as inviting as an institution too. This is the kitchen.

day centre 001

I’ve never seen a tenant , not even one , use that kitchen.  But three nights a week people who don’t live in Cambridge Court have the run of it. These people are friends of the bullies and there is of course money to be made in all of this. And political capital also……..everyone thinks the bullies are wonderful people – or rather they choose to believe it. If there is one thing that I have learned in this life of mine it’s that people are not stupid.  Nor are they blind.  They know whats going on but have their own vested interests in not knowing.  – It is now 1:15 am. There are still people roaring , cursing and shouting in the pub ( Sally’s Return – the dirtiest pub in Ireland) but the ‘music’ seems to have stopped. I’ll go home to my flat now and try and get the tail end of the match , if it is not over by now.  I’ll post this blog post tomorrow……

day centre 002

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