My Squat, in the Middle of my Street -Reflections on Group living vs. the place
which is truly Home for me.

I remember way back then when everything was true and when
We would have such a very good time such a fine time
Such a happy time
And I remember how we'd play simply waste the day away
Then we'd say nothing would come between us two dreamers

Our house it has a crowd
There's always something happening
And's usually quite loud

Our house, was our castle and our keep
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, that was where we used to sleep

Something tells you that you've got to get away from it

                                                                Our House -Madness

I've been living here for what seems an eternity, in the most positive sense of that word.
As a matter of fact i have been here for 26 Months, by most definitions that is not bad at all for a squat. It is certainly not unusual (in my or my friends experience) to live  rent free that long in one place, but a lot shorter is always a possibility too.

I love this home. After about 8 years of living in groups (2 Student Houses and 3 squats, everything from 3 to 26 people) i now live sort of alone and as a consequence i have finally found great peace at home. Whenever i want companionship, stimulation and a little action this is all very close at hand. In essence i can have many of the advantages of group living by interacting with friends/groups a lot but by living alone i have virtually none of the disadvantages.

In the past there were times that i loved living in groups too. But, unfortunately of those aforementioned 8 years i would say only 35% of the time spend living in these groups was really good (as i think it should be). The other 65% of the time it was ok/crap/horrific.

And that ratio just doesn't fucking cut it we me anymore. When i moved here i was really hoping that not only the first few months to a year would be really nice (like it was in those groups). This wish was granted.

Since i live here I have had some great times alone and with others and I have never had to put up with:

-Stupid arguments, factions, fights, group dynamics, negativity aggression, jealousy.
-Other people's filth and stench (some people i lived with were really out there)
-Drug Abuse (i don't mean use which i am fine with, i mean abuse and all it's 
-A continues stream of guests many of which are not at all inspiring or overstay their welcome by far.
-Pubescent, inconsiderate and anti-social behaviour from my housemates to the neighbours and/or their peers.
-Etc,... the list could go on for quite a bit but why bother.

I would like to make very clear that the behaviour i mention above i encountered in both squats and student houses. Also I wouldn't want anyone to get the impression that all the people i lived with were disasters. That isn't true, some of them were great individuals and i still have a lot of love for a few. Some of them just did the best they could (like me) and did good by me as well as themselves. Or, as good as their experience and the circumstances allowed. In one or two instances i myself was largely to blame for some of the shit. And in a few cases i feel one or two individuals i lived with were or chose to be totally fucked up and crazy.

These days i bear no hate, ill will or grudge against even the individuals that did very badly by me. I just  "seem to feel better when they are not around" (Barfly). A LOT better. Lucky for me that has been exactly the way it turned out since i moved to where i now live.

There is another important factor for not regretting my group living experiences:

When the going is really good in a group it is not just "good", it is a true family and this bond results in an extremely inspiring and happy time for all those involved. This feeling is nigh impossible to recreate when one lives alone. But since in my experience this bond has always been very short-lived i realize for me it is not worth the ultimate cost.

But to get back to my current diggs, this place just rocks in so many ways. It is definitely big enough for me. My very best friends live very close by in other squats. Some those squats do have groups and it is sometimes really nice to temporarily immerse myself in them. My place is also in great condition and very comfortable (i did do quite some work on it before it was, but more about that another day perhaps). There's a girl that shares the front door, the shower, some of the maintenance and the fixed costs. We squatted the place together, but she has her own floor, kitchen, toilet, door and soon she might have her own shower as well. She is a somewhat atypical squatter but very nice, sweet and neat. We don't interact too much, but i think that is actually a good thing. It means we get along very well when we do see each other and treat one another with a degree of respect. In my experience a large degree of familiarity between house mates sometimes results in less appreciation and tolerance rather than more.

The neighborhood and location of my house is very good as well. Close to almost every place i like and need to go & with minimal aggro or "ghetto attitude" outside my front door. Especially when compared to many other areas in this city.

I dig it here.

And although in a not too distant future i hope to find great people to live with/become a great person to live with, for now i am very happy where i am at. And if the owner wants me out? Well, then i'll see them in court.

May i be here for a while yet.