Connor 2.0

Tonight, I make a return. I’m driving to Sligo to give one of my weekend courses there.

The last time I gave a course in Sligo, I had no money. I had cut my LaserCard in two to stop myself taking money that I needed for rent and spending it on cigarettes and chicken fillet rolls. Then I started ordering Dominos Pizza online using the card I’d cut in half. As a direct result of this, I wasn’t able to make (yet another) one of my loan repayments. I melted the number off the front of the LaserCard that I’d already cut in two. But it wasn’t soon enough. My bank wrote to me and said that my business was no longer welome and that they were passing me on to a debt collection agency. I went to Sligo with very little money and my Dad’s credit card number written on a scrap of paper, foolishly thinking I’d be able to pay for a hotel room with this.

I couldn’t, and I ended up spending the night sleeping in my car, with a towel as a blanket in the car park of an industrial estate on the outskirts of Sligo. It was one of the (many) low points that I hit over the last few years. Whenever I hear or think of Sligo, that night is the first thing that springs to mind.

I have a new LaserCard, but I still have the molten half of my old one hanging by the mirror in my bedroom. It reminds me of how far I’ve come. I’ve managed not to get dumped by my bank. I’ve negotiated my loan repayments down from €570 a month to €370 a month and I’ve been up-to-date with my payments for a year. I am a little behind on my rent, but I’ll make that up by the end of August and I’ll be living rent-free from September onwards.

And I have a hotel booked and paid for in Sligo tonight.

Brand New Connor.

In other happy news, I’m a runner again. A crappy, wobbly, blistered, slow runner, but a runner. I’ve gone for a run on four of the last five days and I got up two days in a row at 6:00 am to fit a run in the rain in before work!

Brand New Connor.

I’m being a normal human being and going into my flat’s kitchen and sitting down and eating a healthy breakfast every morning. My microwaving of porridge is far from perfect. I still haven’t quite found a balance between coating the microwave walls with porridge by overcooking it and eating warm water with floating oats by undercooking it. But who cares? I’m doing it. And I’ve drunk at least two litres of water every day for the last six days.

Not perfect yet, but getting there. There are kinks the latest version of Connor, but it’s an upgrade that’s been worth making.

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