Sand Castles and Waves.

"An Englishman's home is his castle." Putting aside that some would hold that this means that you can do anything that you want in your own home, which you clearly can not as the law of the land extends inside your castle's four walls; The old English dictum that your home is your refuge is true. Once you are under your own roof and have shut the door you feel safe and insulated against the trials of the outside world. It does not matter if you rent, own, pay a great big mortgage, where it is or its size or condition. You have a home; a place of shelter, comfort and where you can recharge your energy levels and relax. It becomes an intrinsic part of who you are; How you see yourself and how society deals with you i.e. Your identity. Take away that roof and door; become homeless and that identity changes. You think differently and will most certainly be treated differently. There is social stigma attached to homelessness; even though a large number of the population at any time are very close to being there. By the chaotic structure of the modern world you can be secure one minute and then, due to events that may have nothing to do with you, be very insecure the next. Even a small wave can bring a sand castle crumbling down. Not all homeless people "have a problem" with drink or drugs. With the current precarious financial market, uncertain business environment and modern employment regulations with such things as zero hours contracts, many people are walking a fine line between having a door and no door. Having a roof and no roof. Having a castle or just a bucket of wet sand.

Homeless I understand. I should do having been there before. It's one of the reasons I started Charimage and took the decision (a few years back) that I would only continue publishing what I do if the publishing had the potential to raise funds to do some small good in the world. The word potential is important. The realization of funds that could affect good is down to others. This is my personal contract of the terms that I will continue as part of the global internet community. I write and create pictures about the world as I see it. What I publish has the potential to "pay something back" to the world that feeds that creativity. I can only hope that others will "buy in" to this very personal vision.

This time I saw the wave coming. I couldn't stop it and knew that it would take out my castle. Generally becoming homeless happens at speed. I was lucky with a short time to plan and "get my head around it." Experience told me that being homeless the one place you do not want to be is in a city or major town. I decided that I would go anywhere in the world where opportunity took me but would find the means to continue my photography, writing and publishing wherever that was. I am determined to take Charimage forward with me despite lacking access to either mains electricity or a stable internet connection. I was going to treat this as a positive challenge, put aside all the associated negative words like itinerant, vagrant, tramp, hobo, street bum etc... I'll make this a profession instead. Homeless is tough but there's positive in there somewhere. Then the writer in me saw the story and the idea of producing A Drifter's Diary was conceived. It is with some personal satisfaction that I have been able to produce and get on line the first edition for May 2015 without any mains electricity and just a mobile internet connection (and indeed this blog post) just over one month from loosing my castle to a passing wave.

Available Now! Homeless and following the road looking for opportunity:
A PDF diary in pictures and words.

Here's the deal:

A Drifter's Diary chronicles life on the road. It is produced in real time and is offered for sale in PDF format through a dedicated gallery at Charimage. It is readable on desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Images within the diary are new and will not have been previously published. It is hoped to produce one diary edition/month.

The Diary can be downloaded for less than the price of a decent cup of coffee that you will need while you enjoy it. Sales revenues from the Diary are split equally between The Charimage Fund and the Drifter (myself ) who also needs coffee during the creative process.

Purchasers at Charimage are asked to join the list of Nominators. These are the people who can nominate a charity or deserving cause as a potential beneficiary of The Charimage Fund each time it matures.

I have no idea how long the journey will be, how far it will take me or how well I will fare. What I can do is tell and share the story with honesty. At some point there will be drama and crisis. There will be good times and bad. There are bound to be; such is life, Sooner or later I will be sitting on a beach somewhere and I will build a sand castle. Take a picture as a wave comes in and washes it away. Will I care? No; I can go to another beach and build a new one.

Having the diary is well received and bringing enjoyment to readers will be gratifying. If it can help grow The Charimage Fund; that will be fabulous and with some contribution to relieve my own financial stress we will all be winners.

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