22 November 2005

The year draws near to closing. There are anxious Christmas flurries already. Such a vast hypocrisy we all dwell in, but as yet there is no way out. I feel very tired for some reason. It is 4:07pm, and almost dark. Pigeons are squawking incessantly near by. I do not like this living alone, company-less. Having to go out so often to find conversation or entertainment. The only alternative is the television.

Bel came to visit twice. She is a flower blossoming in mid-winter for me.

David, the journalist, disposed of my services, so I redoubled the marketing of myself to the London word market. I write letters to newspapers and research companies.

23 November

Although I laze at home with nothing to do, anxious as always about my loneliness, rather larger forces than normal intrude into my life. Harvey is a centre of attention.

There are several characters in the drama apart from Harvey: Gideon, an Israeli diamond merchant and owner of the property Harvey used to live in; Joe Fatal, Gideon's agent and rent collector who is an Iraqi Jew; and Harvey's girlfriend, Judy. Until six months ago Harvey was paying rent every week to Joe. But then Harvey and several others in the house refused to pay any more rent because certain repairs were not being carried out. In the end most of the tenants relented and paid their dues, only Harvey held out. Joe became angry. After three months Gideon came round personally to see Harvey. Following this meeting Harvey learned that Joe was charging the tenants of Gideon's houses about twice as much as Gideon was receiving. Following more meetings between Harvey and Gideon, Harvey became his agent for that house and was able to reduce all the rents by a third AND live rent free himself. Gideon then set about freeing himself from Joe altogether. He decided to sell two other houses he owned for which Joe was the agent. Joe didn't like this change, and visited Harvey in his flat, and assaulted him. The police were called and Joe was charged with assault. Meanwhile, Gideon continued negotiating with Joe who wanted to buy the houses himself, even though he was short of finance. I too was interested in buying one of the two houses, since my father had promised to provide a loan so that I could afford to purchase a property.

On Thursday Harvey told me that Joe has offered him £1,000 to drop the charges against him and settle out of court. It was very tempting bait. I advised - and he agreed - that he should talk to the police first. My father arrived back from abroad but was too busy to see me until Saturday morning. In the interim, I tried to contact Harvey but couldn't get hold of him. On Saturday, my father agreed to buy one of the houses. On Saturday afternoon, though, I discovered that Harvey had been in jail for a day and a half. Judy had bailed him out for £2,000. Apparently Joe had accused Gideon of ordering him to assault Harvey and then claimed that Harvey and Gideon blackmailed him for the £1,000. According to Harvey, this is what happened. With Gideon, he had gone to Joe's home on Friday. £1,000 had been handed over to Harvey, but then the police, who had been hiding, arrested both of them. They were charged with blackmail. Harvey has had to move out of 102 Sumatra Road (because one of the witnesses for the prosecution lives there) and he's staying with friends. It's a strange coincidence but his girlfriend Judy lives at 89 Hillfield Court with Eva, my late Uncle Fieja's widow. Harvey is also prohibited, under the bail conditions, from going along Iverson Road (so he can't visit my flat).

Paul K Lyons

December 1980



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