17. Dagenham, 1993(?)

One day I noticed that “Paki’s Out” had just been painted in giant letters along the side of Dagenham Swimming Pool. I decided to go and paint it out that evening. About midnight I was happily painting over it when I noticed a man with an Alsatian and a woman out of the corner of my eye. Better safe than sorry, I thought, so I decided to walk round the block and finish the painting afterwards. I turned into Morris Road, then THUD!, I received a massive punch on the back of the head which sent me sprawling forwards onto the pavement. I jumped up and got into a furious fight with the man who had seen me painting. We were knocking each other all over the place; through privet hedges, onto car bonnets, into the road. We were quite evenly matched I suppose, although he had the element of surprise initially. After what seemed like an age, although probably just a few minutes, we both reached complete exhaustion and stalemate. We looked at each other, then staggered off in different directions. Personally, I was totally shattered mentally and physically and I presume he was too.