In the nine years I have lived in Liverpool I certainly have some stories to tell, I have seen and been involved with all sorts of situations, however no other experience is quite comparable to my time at Ellel Grove, Tuebrook! I don’t even really know how to do my experience justice, to say it was an “eye opener”, would be a vast understatement!
Once upon a time I lived in Pall Mall, which has its own history and countless roommates that used to come and go, however the last person I lived there with was Sean. Me and Sean had no real intentions of leaving until my sister bought a 3 bedroom apartment in Hatton Gardens and through some minor persuasion and a little bit of family pressure, we were convinced to move in. It was a lovely apartment although if you asked any of my friends to describe it, they would simply describe it as cold. It had two 7m single pane windows and an extremely high ceiling, it was poorly insulated and winter was, well, extremely cold! This large apartment had plenty of room for guests which was ideal for the Grand National Weekend in 2015.
The annual big weekend was, is I should say, a heavy one. Sunshine, Horse Racing, Gambling and Alcohol with my friends, literally my favourite time of the year. Anyway this particular weekend, I had said that a friend and some of his friends could crash at mine as hotel prices are extortionate (and he had left it last minute!)
Cue the next day and boy was the apartment a mess, my friend was notorious for after parties and he had invited an eclectic mix of people (strangers) round to party through to the early Horus of the morning. My sister had kindly left the apartment free for the weekend and went off to stay with my dad. I knew it wouldn’t be worth living if she came back and it was a tip, so I hired what I thought was a professional cleaning company to come and clean it.
Eventually the apartment was back in good nick, or at least I thought it was in good nick until I got a text…
(wish I still had the text)
I really wish I had a screen shot of the message that was the catalyst that led me to moving out, basically it was a picture of a condom that my sister had found in the apartment with a barrage of messages regarding how unimpressed she was, which is the politest way I can describe it!
To sum, it was time for me to move out!
I needed somewhere quick and so came about Ellel Grove. Situated off West Derby road, a hop and a skip from Anfield was now my new home. It was a 6 bedroom, terraced house share and to be fair it wasn’t too shabby inside.
I had the front room attic convert facing the road, which was brilliant since I had 6 car loads to move on my own up 3 flights of stairs! #FML
To begin with, I didn’t really think anything of it, the street was a little bit of a work but in the rush of moving I hadn’t really done my research on the area, which was to be my downfall.
The end terrace had an alley next door to it where rats the size of cats used to meet nightly to discuss how they would terrorise the area. I swear I once saw them meeting in the middle of the road, they had got so big and so had their confidence! There were dozens of them…Dozens!!
Next door had a similar set up except the only people that went in and out were a rather mismatched couple, what seemed like a senior lady with a middle aged man as well as two giant dogs. Occasionally groups of smack heads would walk up the street to what I used to image was their local dealer and I always wondered why my car never got broken in to, maybe they assumed it was their dealers car? Who knows!
The landlady was lovely and couldn’t do enough for us, my house share residents involved a dope smoking ex con below me, a Spanish couple, a Hungarian couple next to me and a Czech couple at the bottom…oh and a dog, Callie, that randomly stayed with us! It was a rather bizarre set up.
The first incident that really hit home that I was living in the modern day shameless was the shooting down my street, I mean don’t get me wrong the rats were a big clue but the shooting was more of the awakening for me.
I awoke one morning already late (standard) for my 9am in Blackpool to find police cars in my street and my car trapped as the road had been closed off. Now I can say with certainty that both my manager and Paul, my customer I was due to meet were extremely dubious of this and thought I’d concocted some far fetched excuse, thankfully smart phones exist and I sent them the above picture!
Wild elephants could stampede through the street and I would of slept through it so it was no surprise to me I didn’t hear the shooting. Bewildered I staggered, pre coffee, barely dressed to the banging front door only to be greeted by too many questions and suspicious attitudes. Things like, where was I at 2am last night and why do I live in this street with such a car. I mean, it’s a company car and what does that even matter? Also, can someone explain to me how I am meant to prove I was sleeping at 2am?! Madness.I think it was just the polices way of berating me, I get it, I am single, you don’t need to take the piss.
The street was closed for the entire day which meant I had to work from home.
It took me a while to really digest the stark nature of the incident and how I found myself so close to such a thing.
It wasn’t long before life resumed as normal and the only thing to be concerned about was the ever growing size and number of rats on our street, I used to imagine them getting so confident that they would rob me of my shoes!
That was until the next incident, in a string of events, which started to feel like some sort of Crime Drama based on Ellel Grove, except this time the police were in my house.
I had often heard loud arguments from the Hungarian couple next to me but little did I know he was knocking her about, this time it turns out he has gone too far and the police were asking the residents of my house if they had seen him, that was of course until they found him curled up in the bath tub hiding, it really wasn’t funny but that did make me chuckle, I was literally stood behind the policemen staring at him, he ignored them as if in some vein attempt that maybe they hadn’t actually seen him. He got carted off never to be seen again.
A week or two had passed before the police were back again, I remember being dumb founded, I felt like maybe they needed to start paying rent as they where here as much as I was, this time my neighbour had died from a drug overdose. This was becoming a joke, the police constantly parking in my spot, ridiculous. Once I had shared my discontent for their inconsideration on where they felt they could park, I was amicable enough to answer their questions, which again, I found myself awkwardly explaining that I cannot prove I was asleep in the early hours of the morning and that I still do not have a girlfriend, who was with me to verify that. They also found it somewhat odd I showed no real compassion for the loss of my neighbour.
This was starting to get me down, I really ought to have moved out by now but instead I turned a little weird, in fact, this isolated living amongst a crime fuelled area was the catalyst in a very weird phase for me. I was talking to the dog regularly, consuming a record amount of takeaways a week and taking too many selfies.
Callie, clearly not impressed with me trying to get a selfie with my new best mate!
Would be ideal if I said ham instead of ‘am
Riks cuising in Walton was my favourite takeout, I used to order so much that I once went two weeks without ordering, he phoned me, to see if I was okay and if there was a problem, how needy? Anyway the next time I ordered a takeaway he delivered it personally, I was speechless, wasn’t really sure how to react or what to say, I knew I had a problem by this point, I needed to cut them out but just ignored the voice in my head (one of many! Haha).
Rik had always assumed because of how much I was ordering it was always for me and a girlfriend (lol), when he asked me what her name was I told her it was, ‘imaginary’, to this day, I still don’t believe he understood what I meant, as he told me he hopes we enjoy our meal.
What even is life?
Curry and pizza!
It was next doors funeral not long after, maybe a few days and I found myself surprised yet again, in my life I am rarely surprised, my over active brain that never tires of over thinking everything usually leaves me rarely surprised but here I am in the ghetto, constantly gobsmacked, it was like a metaphorical advent Calendar expect instead of chocolates, I got surprises.
This surprise was the 4 people helping the lady next door walk back from the car, I assumed it had taken her to the funeral and now returning her, she was slowly using a Zimmer frame get in to the house. 4 people and a Zimmer frame?!? Now the reason for my surprise was because every night at 10:30pm she walks competently out of her house to go work the streets around the corner, yet here she is, walking like she has flour for bones!
She has two giant dogs ?! TWO!!!
For a few weeks or maybe even just over a month passed drama free, I think I was convinced that it would be peace and quiet here on in, ha, typically naive.
This is when the notes started to appear, in fact they had started without my knowledge but one of my house mates kept binning them. The lady next door kept leaving me notes asking for money to pay her bills. In fairness I did say if there was anything I could to help, please let me know.
This left me feeling really shit, I couldn’t not help her but everyone told me not to give her money, so I thought I did the right thing. I went to Tesco and bought her loads of food. Sandwiches, bread, sausages the lot, probably a better food shop than I did for me. I passed her the bags and she wasn’t very grateful, in fact she said to me,
“How am I supposed to cook sausages with no gas or electric?”
I mean, what the hell is the right thing to do there? I gave her a tenner, it was all the cash I had on me and I just felt pretty awful. Sucker or not, you tell me?
Well anyway, she ran back in to the house, got her dogs and out she came, I guess to go top the meter up? I was back in the car and one of her dogs escaped the lead and was on my bonnet barking at me. This was the third time in my life I nearly shit myself. I didn’t know what to do, it was almost comedy this women trying to get control of this dog whilst the other was on its leash. Utter chaos. I wanted to drive off but didn’t want to hurt the dog. It was Fucking madness!
By this point, I’m going doolally, Jamie was moving back to Liverpool but not for another few months so I had to continue to put up with this crap.
So I mentioned earlier I was taking weird selfies, well I discovered an app you could take pictures of yourself from a far by using a hand gesture to signal the phone to take it, for some reason I was trying out different outfit ideas, which in itself was tragic, anyway, here’s a golden one and if you don’t find this funny you aren’t human!
THE hat from Portugal, my game of thrones TShirt and those terrible all saints space boots has to be up there with one of the worst ideas ever. Thankfully I never left the house like this! Next time my parents ask why I don’t have a girlfriend I will show them this picture! Haha.
One could say, “I know nothing”
[GoT reference for those that don’t watch it]
There was a second shooting, I remember it as I was having a smoke out my window when I heard ;
“I’m going to burn you alive you grass”
Follows by two very loud bangs.
I have no idea what any normal person would do in this scenario but I dropped to the floor, crawled over to my light and switched it off, crawled back and peered out the window. Let’s bare in mind I am at the end of the street, on the top floor on the opposite side of the house being shot at. Not sure why I was being so covert!
Not long after the blue sirens and the police were back, another day working from home to my managers utter disbelief!
So if by this point, you are not taken back by the two shootings, the women next door, my Hungarian house mate or my questionable relationship with the house dog, then buckle up because this next episode, is a real beauty!!
I was sat outside my house in my car after work, when a lady approached my car and knocked on the window to ask me if her friend looked like “Jamie Kulcher” (whoever that is). After a brief explanation that I don’t know who she is, she asked if i wanted to buy ladies deodorant for a £1 as they are £4 in the shop. I politely declined. She insisted that I should buy them as a gift for my girlfriend, I tried to explain that I do not have a girlfriend. She countered this by saying well if you don’t buy her gifts, I am not surprised you do not have a girlfriend, which just made no sense to me. She then started to say that I should buy them for my sister or mother, or any female in my family. she was persistent, I grant her that. Eventually she gave up and realised there was no sale to be made here. I was relieved, well until she then leant in to my window (which was open) and in to my personal space and started to tell me her life story.
Chelyn’s problems, yes Chelyn, started when she was 6 years old and was taken in to foster care as her mother used to leave her on her own when she went out with her father. As she got older she spent time with her uncles, unsupervised from her foster parents.
Can I just say, that if you have to say things like unsupervised in a story about spending time with relatives, you really don’t want to know the remainder of the story because its never going to end well.
It would seem she thought it was normal for them to take pictures of her despite feeling uncomfortable. She then went on to explain the various sexual, physical and mental traumas she went through over the following 25 years, in great detail.
May i reiterate, in great detail!!
As she chewed her bottom lip, sniffing relentlessly she explained she suffered badly with hay-fever, which for the first time in this situation, I chuckled. “Hay-fever”
If this was not at all enough for me to digest (I have spared the graphic detail), she paused, literally as if she had seen a ghost, it was rather odd.
It was at that moment she started apologising for being so selfish and talking about her life when I am ill. It turns out because I am, “so pale” and looked, “so tired” she assumed I had cancer. Yes, Cancer, could you fucking believe it?!
Without even giving me an opportunity to speak, she asked how long I had left, what type of cancer I had, do I want a hug, do I want some free deodorant to cheer me up and so on. She insisted on me taking her number so that when the electricity comes on in her house I can go round for a brew. She assured me it is a really nice place.
The conversation was changing often and fast, quicker than the current weather. With that she went on to tell me about her dreams, aspirations of wanting to provide for her children and that now her ex partner who is out of prison for the 11th time yesterday, can perhaps focus on their future. I still haven’t even so much as murmured a word, I am just sat there uncomfortably, hoping for the ground to swallow me up.
The next topic of conversation was on the graphic nature, to which no detail was spared on how her mother passed away last year of cancer and so if anyone could understand what I was apparently going through, it was her. If that was not bad enough, her old support worker decided to tell her that her mother used to be a prostitute. Thinking to myself, there cannot possibly be much more to offload, I thought wrong.
I was also thinking, maybe I should be charging her some sort of counselling fee?
She decided to finish her story about the struggle with her father and how she has 21 siblings. Nope, that was not a typo, 21 siblings.
She understands despite how much she loves her father, he does not know how to distribute his love amongst his children, probably due to the volume that he has. (I can only assume his dream growing up, was to literally have his own 11a side football team and then decided he needed a reserve team with it).
I did wish Cheryn all the best for her upcoming 40th birthday party in December (and life in general), however I didn’t have the heart to tell her I would not join her in her celebrations.
One thing that really resonated with me though, I really need a tan.
In the end, I had to pretend I needed to be somewhere and drove round the block until she had gone, which wasn’t for about 20 minutes. I decided that when I eventually re-pulled up, to dart straight in to the house and not hang about, well that was until my deceased next door neighbours wife that was necking a homeless man on my front doorstep. Well, he looked homeless. I didn’t want to interrupt them or draw any attention to myself as you can bet your bottom dollar, he will ask me for spare change, not to mention trying to get passed them mid neck. It was a ropey that day for Bry, very ropey.
There was so much more, so I will leave you with a few snippets from facebook below!
Ellel Grove, truly emotional and unforgettable!
Ahhh lovely. The landlady comes to visit and asks how we are getting on with “callie” (who I thought was the landladies dog), I ask when she anticipates taking her back home. “Well, the thing is, she isn’t really my dog”. My ‘ghetto gut feeling’ starts tingling. “I found her seven years ago”, she explains. “She had run away from a load of gypsies after giving birth to pups and that they had used her as bait for the fighting dogs, she was all cut up and injured in the main road. I empathise and ask, “have you had her checked by a vet though, for any diseases or god forbid rabies”…
“No, why would i? You cant get rabies in England!”Good grief, I cannot wait to move in a few weeks!
No Mr Removals man, as kind as your offer is, I dont want to help you load up your van with my deceased neighbours stuff. I appreciate you allowing me the opportunity to get changed out of my work attire too. Alas, I am of no use to you.
So my neighbour who died of an OD left his Mrs with two huge dogs almost as big as her. Shes just come out her house as i did crying as one has just killed her cat. She has just gone to walk one but i think its walking her. This street though 😨😕
Latest update in Hells Ghetto.
My next door neighbour died Monday, drug overdose which caused a heart attack. My car has had two attempted break ins. I have seen giant rats fighting, literally a rat fight club. Been called a dickhead for not having a spare cigarette for the three boys who cant of been older than 12 and lost my house keys. It’s only Thursday!!I feel like I am on the shameless version of “I am not a celebrity, get me out of here””This week in the benefit street jungle…”
“You look tired lad, had a hard day?” Said by the old heroin addict who lives next door to me. Thanks love 😦😳
So I was stopped on my street by the devoutly religious family who were late for a Christening and no taxis had turned up. So I gave them a lift (and their friend who I picked up on the way). Not a problem I thought as long as I get my Sunday roast. They have no roast dinners left. I helped your followers God and this how you treat me? 😩😭
Police are round again for the Hungarians 😂😂😂fuccck sake lol
Came home to the gas hob on with no flame. House stinks. Awesome.
The hungarian bloke in my house has been arrested. There are four police cars outside. Lol. Loads of police in my house. 😳😳