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Reflections of a working writer and reader



The Red Stripe Club

After his father was murdered, David Goldblatt traced his life through unpaid bills, unopened letters and the pages of a diary:

It became more pronounced as my mother, Bobby, was dying and the tedious bureaucracy of car ownership that had been her domain went untouched. The summonses and the fines began to mount up — a year after Bobby’s death he had taken to sporting a beer mat in his tax-disc holder. Among the many elements of his estate that I dealt with after his death were over £4,000-worth of unpaid parking tickets, a wide variety of pending utility bills and a number of unresolved court cases involving motoring accidents and insurance claims. More impressively, he hadn’t paid any council tax or made any mortgage payments for eight years. Sometimes the bailiffs arrived, but his response was always the same. They would knock on the door. He would then greet them, step out of the house, close the door behind him and walk out onto the green in front of his flat, ringed by six other mock-Tudor blocks, and shout: “This man is a bailiff. He wants to take my possessions away to pay for unpaid bills and unjust fines, but he will not be getting anything.” They never did.

Extracted from David Goldblatt’s book, Doing the Paperwork — Life in the Aftermath of a Violent Death, from Granta 104, Fathers

One Response to “The Red Stripe Club”

  1. Savana Sheehy says:

    Major thanks for the blog. Really Cool.