A letter that I expect to arrive today

Update Thursday 17 December 2020, 9:58
Still the same. Royal Mail has not attempted to deliver my letter, according to its website. I wonder if a guy I know as Nathan has anything to do with that. He once walked up to me at the local large Tesco (Craswell Street), made the mysterious statement that he and I had never seen eye to eye or something along those lines – huh? wtf was he going on about? – then said that Royal Mail had offered him early retirement because of his severe problems with his spine and that he had accepted the offer. It turned out to be complete bullshit. I have no idea what this dude wanted from me. I don’t know him. He is someone who works at Royal Mail, who (says he) has severe back problems and I’ve brought him and his colleagues refreshments once on a hot day. (I also brought a tea from Greggs to a woman at Wilko on a freezing cold day once and I’ve once given my postie in Southampton a refreshment on a hot summer’s day. I don’t do that kind of thing in other countries, can’t recall any instances.) Other than that, I don’t know him, but he seems to have had some kind of issue with me for a long time. No idea what it might be. I saw him walking toward me on Arundel Street a few weeks ago and I decided to cross the road so that I could avoid him. I have no idea what his problem is and what his problem with me is. He initially seemed really friendly, just a regular guy, friendlier than his colleagues. The guy meanwhile has started to give me the creeps. He was also the one who handed me that package with wet and muddied fairly random letters from about 6 months and he was the one who told me about the package with the SSE modem that apparently had been sitting at the post office for a while after I tried to switch broadband providers for so long, in vain, when he saw me in Lake Road one day.

Portsmouth seems to abound with these types of folks. (Like this “Nathan”, I mean. But he used to have a genuinely pleasant and sane colleague whose son is a scientist. That guy left, though. Overall, Portsmouth is toxic. A lot of that has to do with the widespread deep poverty here as a result of the staggering inequality in England.)


Update Wednesday 16 December 2020, 11:45
The item was posted First Class Signed For on Saturday 12 December 2020 at 2:34pm at the Portsmouth Post Office [PO1 1AB] and still Royal Mail has not attempted to deliver this letter, according to the Royal Mail website.

This one (PDF): Letter Dated 11 December 2020

That older letter that I mention in the above letter had been sent “1st Class Signed For” and it was signed for. So was another letter I sent at about the same time. There was no response to either letter.

There was no response either to the e-mail I sent to Grant Murphy on 30 August 2019, in which I wrote that it was high time for a genuine and serious talk. I suggested meeting at his office on 3 September 2019 at 11am or 2pm.

I usually get ignored when I contact him or his staff for whatever reason, but when they want me to stop by and I contact them and say that I will do so two workdays later because I am hard at work for a client who I can’t let down, I often get a lot of angry words back.

When I wrote to them on 31 October 2016 about “problems at 6 Kingston Road”, I got no response back.

Mon, Oct 31, 2016, 11:23 AM

This was right after I spoke with Grant Murphy on the phone when I called him while I was at Fratton Train station, waiting for my train. He picked up the phone with something like “Student accommodation” but when I said that I thought I had called a different number and was looking for a Mr Murphy, he said that it was him. He told me that people picking the locks all the time was no big deal, but if I wanted, I could install different locks. (I have done that, but it has not helped.) He also said, I think, to go talk to my MP because he seemed to agree more or less that Portsmouth Police is useless (after he suggested I contact police after which I told him that I had already done that many times).

Grant Murphy and I made an appointment to meet on the Saturday after I arrived back because he said he was often at our buildings on Saturday anyway, which surprised me (but I had never met him, so it’s possible). That Saturday, I waited and waited. He never showed.

The e-mail I sent after I spoke with Murphy on the phone I wrote on the train, I am sure, as it was far from my most eloquent e-mail message, but I was upset and I felt that the problems at 6 Kingston Road were seriously getting out of hand to the point of the situation now becoming completely unworkable. (Someone had just emptied dumped one or two liters of ice cream on the doormat of the ground-floor neighbours in some kind of bizarre prank. It is one of the many results consequences of the building not being secure.)

Some weeks ago, I contacted Hants Fire about the rubbish again, which I had wanted to do many times before. (But it all feels soooooooooooo futile. Nobody in England or Portsmouth gives a damn about anything, it often feels like, to me. Nobody here cares. Is that too the result of Britain’s staggering inequality? If not, where does it come from?)

This is part of what I received back.

This below is what I got in the end.


What has also happened is that someone closed my water account one or two years ago – I think it was Portsmouth Water – and a year ago, someone took control of my electricity account and apparently transferred it so many times in a row that the account completely got lost along the way. I have electricity but I don’t know who supplies it (though I probably have made some calls about that by the time this post goes live). The account was transferred by someone who had the meter’s number and all my personal data, such as DOB and address and postcode; such data are in the possession of many people, of course, hence offer no security at all.

This is what happened the previous time, which must have been about a year after I spoke about this at the offices of Grant Murphy and had given up on the rubbish as I couldn’t afford to remove it myself:

I have also previously advised Ruth Mbvundula not to accept Grant Murphy’s refusal to refund her deposit as, in my opinion, his reason for refusing to return the deposit was likely also his fault and I felt that a compromise might be in order. I referred her to the tenancy matters department at Portsmouth City Council.

For the record this is more or less what I recently wrote to Hants Fire, part of which I also let them know in 2018:

Good afternoon Mark,

Thank you for your message.

1. It concerns two buildings, an older one and a newer one, each housing three flats, at 6 Kingston Road, Portsmouth PO1 5RZ. These buildings are owned by Mr Grant Murphy and/or one of his companies. He and his companies can be reached via the Royal Beach Hotel, St Helens Parade, Southsea PO4 0RN; the hotel is currently closed, however. (Guinness owns the newer buildings next to Murphy’s. It was Guinness that removed the rubbish previously, indeed.)

2. The lock to the back door of the older front building is often jammed from the outside. I do not know whether that means that the lock is also jammed for anyone wanting to exit through that door as we in the building at the back do not have keys to the front door of that building. Last time I tried that back door to see if I had any postal mail, a few days ago, the lock was jammed again.

3. Before the start of the present lockdown, some of the landlord’s staff removed a lot of branches among other things. These branches have been on our patio since then, though someone moved them slightly because the heap of branches (dead wood) was blocking access to the back door of the front building. They were in front of the door there.

4. The rubbish is mostly in an open shed and includes a mattress that sticks out a bit. When this area was filled with junk before, it was deemed a fire hazard by your colleague. I had already gotten rid of as much as I could (called scrap metal people and had some people from a charity shop take a look), thinking that it all had been dumped there by others, not by our landlord. When I went to talk with the landlord about getting the remainder removed, I was admonished when I said that I had already gotten rid of some of the junk. I have also offered to help the foreman clean out the area, but my offer was ignored. Last year, I took photos of what the situation was like back then and included printouts of the photos in my letter to the landlord.

5. It may also be helpful to know that my landlord’s legal adviser is a Mr David Lancaster.

I hope this gives you enough information.

Best regards,

Angelina Souren


It may be generally interesting to know that I also once caught a landlord/lady dumping stuff in my forecourt when I was living in Southsea. I talked with her about it. I’d previously taken stuff to the tip that had left behind by another landlord/lady as I happened to have rented a van anyway at the time.

I have also heard this rubbish dumping being blamed on foreign tenants, at the Portsmouth Environmental Forum. In my experience, it’s usually landlords who do this.

I know that a lot of English people are not going to understand anything of the above. Why do I bother? One thing I’ve learned in my 16 years in England is that, here, it makes absolutely no difference what you do. True. So you might as well do the right thing. In my view, it means that you stay true to your values even if there is nothing else you can do. And that feels a heck of lot better than just rolling over and closing your eyes.

6 thoughts on “A letter that I expect to arrive today

    • What will probably happen next is that the complaints will be addressed in such a manner that it is essentially harassment. (I’ve been in the UK long enough to learn my lessons the hard way and I’ve had something similar happen to me in the US, where I started getting calls about the colours of the appliances in the kitchen so that they could match the colours. There was one very old fridge; that was it. Someone else then offered me the opportunity to move into one of the apartments in a building they owned.)

      Another problem associated with the complaints has been that I can’t leave my flat for more than 1 or 2 hours because that is enough time for anyone to go into my flat and there are times when lots of people know that I am not at home. This means that I essentially have to hire storage space to keep files etc. I did do that last year when Murphy took me to court and I kept my files in the storage space, not taking any risks chances. Because I remember what happened at my previous address. In Southsea. Came home one day, found draft excluder installed in letter opening and my voice mail light no longer blinking. (That may have been the day the Taking the Lead course participants went to London. Someone did go into my flat on that day, but I don’t remember whether that was the same day that this happened. Probably.)

      After the court hearings in 2019, someone who couldn’t have known who I was or that I was living here addressed me while I was on the sidewalk while I was waiting for someone, and said that he needed to inspect my flat. He came from inside the front building. I had never seen him before. How did he know who I was? He later (Nov 20, 2019, 11:52 AM) e-mailed me from a gmail address as “John O’Connor” and signed “G I Properties” with the phone number “02392 817648”. I decided to ignore it.

      All I want is to be allowed – enabled – to live my life including making a living. And yes, I care about things like piles of rubbish. My ground-floor neighbours often have a barbecue when it is nice outside and they sit on the patio with all that rubbish around them.

      The way our patio looks radiates “nobody cares about this place” and it invites strangers to hang around here too. That used to happen a lot. The part of the fence next to the wooden door was torn down repeatedly. I fixed it up twice as well as I could with some stuff I got from Wilko and during the first lockdown, the ground-floor neighbours decided to tackle the issue and sawed up some wood and fixed the fence fairly well.

      There is this bizarre myth that tenants do not care about the place where they live. Of course they do! They live there!!!

      And after this… I will be told to leave because unlike in my home country, tenants can be simply told to leave. I can never get people in my home country to understand that. That you can be evicted for no reason at all, in the UK.

      And so the sordid mess will be able to continue. Because nobody who holds any serious sway cares and most other people are simply too busy.


  1. A word of warning for anyone in a similar position. Do not use your phone – any mobile phone – within such contexts for anything that you want to keep confidential. Not even from a number that you think nobody has. Because you may find not be aware that the walls and floors and ceilings have eyes and ears.

    If you must, only you use that phone far away from your home, then take the battery out, so that it cannot be detected in your home. Never have the battery in it it while it is in your home.

    (I am not going to explain that, other than to say that the world can be crazier than we anticipate. I did mention something about this context to someone else a little over a year ago, in writing. I had not expected the above, but in retrospect, I probably should have.)

    I think there is even more going on within this context, in fact, but I am not going to explain that either. (Beyond: Portsmouth seems to contain a stinking cesspool.)

    And just in case anyone believes that I have some kind of personal vendetta against Mr Murphy because he took me to court twice in 2019, read this post:
    (That’s on the Guinness grounds.)


  2. Also, I’ve meanwhile realized that the time when our entrance is so dark that you see nothing at all when you leave because of the time it takes our eyes to adjust is probably mostly when the big lights at the Manor infant school haven’t kicked in yet. But we should not have to depend on a school’s lights.

    (It is also likely only the case when we do have lighting in our staircase.)


  3. For the record, I had written a different letter to Murphy before but found that it could not be delivered as his hotel was closed. So what could I do? It’s meanwhile dawned on me that this guy does not seem to give a shit about anything other than making as much money as possible and that that earlier letter would have been a complete waste of time.

    I should have known, frankly.


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