It was a Sunday, and we'd had a lie-in. Mick had reappeared mid-morning, Dog in tow, after spending the night in the Police cells. He'd been arrested for Drunk and Insensible (D&I) again, but as he said, at least he'd had breakfast. After sparking up the first of the day's joints at about 11am, the munchies set in and Eyes busied herself pulling out the gas stove and opening a tin of meatballs. The sun was streaming in through the window, Mick and Man were bantering rather than bickering, and all was good in our little world. We were looking forward to a well deserved lazy day, toking and relaxing and working through our thoughts about the Shaftesbury experience - Mick had been on site up until a few years previously, and both Man and Eyes had harboured dreams in that direction for a good long time. Our visit had only strengthened their resolve.
It was just as that first tin had been opened that the door downstairs was kicked in and heavy boots could be heard down below. We all froze as they headed for the stairs and it wasn't until we heard them start to climb up towards us when Dog and JD finally came to their senses. They were closer to each other than they had ever been as they shot down towards our "visitors", barking for all they were worth. There were sounds of a struggle and a yelp, followed by an angry of "Gerrof me you manky fucking mutt", the sickening sound of plank being swung at JD and then bouncing off the wall, and a second voice shouting "Fuck this, I'm getting mi'shotgun, filthy fuckers". More footsteps as the intruders backed off to the bottom of the steps, low warning growls from the two canines, and then the first voice again, giving us an hour to get out or they'd be back, and warning that no fleabitten mongrels would stop them beating us out if we were still there when they paid their second visit. We didn't need telling twice. We'd thrown everything together and run within twenty minutes. The can of meatballs may well still be there to this day - my last image of that place remains the sight of it sitting on the floor, all glistening and tempting to a hungry pup like me, and thinking what a waste...
I don't know where Mick went - he had his boltholes, as we all did. Our little family headed into town and called in on a friend of Man's called Tina, a girl who worked in the local Wimpy bar. He had been new to the area just a few months before I found Eyes - they hadn't known each other long when she got me - and Tina was an incomer too, lured from Warrington by the promise of Stonehenge and the New Age. He called in to the shop for a cup of tea one day and things went on from there. Sometimes we visited her at her tiny bedsit on the edge of town, but we were never able to stay the night there for fear of being caught by her landlord. This emergency was no exception, but it was in the course of talking things over together that Man announced that it was time to move on. He had drifted from town to town before washing up in Salisbury - getting run out of most of them, it later transpired - and now was the time to do the same thing again. Eyes readily agreed. If we couldn't get onto a Traveller's site yet, the next best thing was just to up sticks and get travelling. Tina was disillusioned by the reality of the small Wiltshire town in which she found herself beached, and said we should go for it while we had no ties. After the usual "waste" from the burger bar had been fed to me and JD (the sausages were our favourite), we headed back to the tunnel we had squatted in previously to make our plans.
Neither of us had any way of knowing it at the time, but this decision was to be one of the first big mistakes that Eyes made. A few days later Man signed off and collected our meagre dole money - a glitch in the law meant he could claim for Eyes too, even though she was too young to claim for herself - and we said our goodbyes before getting on a bus and leaving town.