The diary of a homeless man
“I have long believed that the modern concept of home is flawed, and wrote about why people didnt need their own home, but up until 5 months ago I didn’t believe I’d actually have to put my philosophy into practice!” Alan Macmillan Orr
- the waiting gameI’ve been back in portugal on my beautiful sailboat ariana for 2 weeks now, waiting for an elusive purchaser to grease my palm with silver ( I think that’s the expression) but alas it seems that I have to wait for at least another week! Portugal is a lovely place, and most people are envious that I am here, but they don’t understand that not only am I penniless still, I have to live on a boat in a dusty yard, 20 feet in the air, peeing in a bucket, with no fresh water from the tap! Poor me! I… Read more: the waiting game
- ABOVE THE CLOUDSThis morning, at 4.30am by Uber arrived to pick me up from my dad’s to take me to Luton airport – destination Lagos, Portugal, swapping my socks and sandals and hiking pack for the 06.40 Ryanair flight to Faro. I have to go over to the Marina to sort out Ariana and ready her for an imminent sale. Itś sad to see her go, but needs must and all! Iḿ sure there will be some people reading this saying, that it’ś outrageous that Ihave chosen to use the most environmentally unfriendly way for travel, and ordinarily I would agree with… Read more: ABOVE THE CLOUDS
- REFLECTIONSIt’s been 2 days since I left the isle of arran, packing up our little tent in the dark, catching the ferry to the mainland and heading back to industrialisation! I booked into a chain hotel with Hariand far from it being a relief to finally be back in a ‘civilised’ environment it felt, very unnatural, despite it being on the surface, very comfortable. The first thing Inoticed was how stuffy it was, with sealed windows, and heating…I felt like I couldn’t breathe… I also noticed how quiet it was, but not in a good way… Let me explain. The… Read more: REFLECTIONS
- A HIGHER PURPOSE?As I was preparing ‘the last supper’ before leaving Arran tomorrow on our way south to complete the sale of the project’s classic Swan 55, I stopped for a moment to reflect on what I had learned in the last 6 weeks camped in our little tent in Lamlash Bay, Isle of Arran, opposite holy isle´, the Tibetan buddhist centre where I volunteered in 2007. The first was most certainly a ‘down to earth lesson’ and it had nothing to do with higher purposes, callings, or vocations! It was simply this. Camping full time with a dog on an island… Read more: A HIGHER PURPOSE?
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMDear mum, You would have been 91 today! Sorry, I know you don’t like people talking about your age! Unfortunately, you only made it to 85, as some nasty cancer and another illness called alzheimers decided that you wouldn’t make it to 86… I’m sorry you had to go through a few years of suffering, and although hari (the labrador) and I tried to look after you, we couldn’t save you. We tried hard though, and tried to get you the help you needed, but you were really stubborn, and didn’t believe you had facial cancer, let alone ‘Alzheimers’! In… Read more: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM
- IT’S GETTIN’ COLD IN THE TENT!So it seems we´ve had the summer and are now firmly into Autumn on the Isle of Arran. I´ve been soaked nearly every day, but the rain is starting to feel cold! I thought we were supposed to have a mild climate here in the western islands? I guess this is quite mild, but itś the constant downpours, gusty winds, and a generally damp atmosphere, that is not condusive to long term ´tenting´! Fortunately, I’m not wild camping at the moment and am enjoying the (relative) comforts of being at Middleton’s campsite in Lamlash Bay, where the owners’ friendliness makes… Read more: IT’S GETTIN’ COLD IN THE TENT!
- HOMELESS & CAMPING? YOU CAN’T ESCAPE CONSUMERISMYou can listen to Alan’s Natural Mind – Waking Up topic on Consumerism above while reading this post! According to the society I live in, I am technically homeless (as I don’t have the standard house or apartment that most people do, I am not free of the consumer society, unlike my dog Hari! Here’s why! I currenly am living in a small tent, in a campsite on the Isle of Arran in Scotland, but I’m no wild man of the jungle! First, I have access to hot showers, a drying room, washing machine, and dryer, washing up facilities etc… Read more: HOMELESS & CAMPING? YOU CAN’T ESCAPE CONSUMERISM
- 25 REASONS WHY MY DOG IS A BETTER MAN THAN ME25 Reasons why my dog is a better man than me. As I’ve been walking and camping with my faithful friend Hari the labrador I have been noticing something strange from time to time, that in some ways, I’m quite jealous of him, and if there ever was such a thing I’d like to be reincarnated as him. oh just in case you think I’ve spelled his name wrong that Hari with an I as in Krishna, not Y as in Prince! He’s named after a great taxi driver I met in Nepal years ago, who shares many of the… Read more: 25 REASONS WHY MY DOG IS A BETTER MAN THAN ME
- THE MAN IN THE TENT‘Excuse me, are you the man in the tent?’ shouted over to me as Hari and I were on our way to catch the little bus back from Brodick to Lamlash on the Isle of Arran ‘Yep, that’s me!’ I jovially replied, wondering what on earth she was going to ask me. ‘Oh, I’ve got such admiration for you, staying that wee tent (wee – scottish meaning small!) with that big dug! (dug – scottish meaning dog). ‘I wasn’t quite sure how to reply, as no one has ever admired me just because I’m currently sleeping in a tent with… Read more: THE MAN IN THE TENT
- Why socks and sandals?Ok, so socks and sanals may not be the most fashionable footwear, anywhere in the world… And here I am 5 months in, in the same pair of sandals I have been wearing since 2015! With the sam questions.. like. How can you wear those on the mountains? They are not apporopriate footwear! Here’s how it started! In 2014 I embarked on a crazy pilgrimage from Kathmandu to Canterbury, fully kitted in the latest North Face gear, when someone commented that the Nepali hill people were wearing flip flops and trudging up and down the hills all day with double… Read more: Why socks and sandals?
- BREXIT,COVID, CASH AND OTHER EXCUSESWhen I arrived on Arran, and set up my tent at the lovely little campsite opposite Holy Isle, I realisedfor the first time that apart from my trust companion Hari (labrador), I was completely alone, with hardly any cash left. I had been so focussed on getting these projects going that I didn’t realise that I had managed to alienate everyone I knew, save my poor old dad, who still kept in contact regularly. I had left everybody behind – girlfriends, friends, family, and back in 2006, the love of my life, my wife. All in search of the ultimate… Read more: BREXIT,COVID, CASH AND OTHER EXCUSES
- SCOTLAND CALLINGI was born in Scotland, East Kilbride to be exact, and although I left when I was 6 , I always felt an affinity with the country due to my whole family being scottish, and all my cousins , aunts, and uncles still living there. So after Hari and I finished the Coast to Coast, I decided to head north. To arran. My mum was born on the Isle of Bute, and is buried there also, but I have never felt at home there. It feels like an island past its heyday, with a crumbling facade as you approach from… Read more: SCOTLAND CALLING
- LIVING IN A TENT? ARE YOU HOMELESS?homelessness is a state of mind, I used to say, until I really was! Alan macmillan orr a life long adventurer , I have had a fairly carefree life, living in hotels, serviced apartments, shacking up with girlfriends, living on the boat, etc… so I never considered myself ‘homeless’. That was people who lived on the streets – drug addicts, down and outs, alcoholics, and they generally smelled bad, and slept in doorways, wrapped in disused cardboard boxes from the nearest retail establishment. I certainly wasn’t like them – Iwas educated, well spoken, well dressed, able to communicate with people… Read more: LIVING IN A TENT? ARE YOU HOMELESS?