Most people with nagging spouses simply get a shed at the bottom of the garden where they can stew over the many injustices done to them.
Or they simply sneak off to the pub, which leads to further nagging and thus further pub going. And so the cycle of marital passive aggressiveness continues.
However, fed-up husband Malcolm Applegate took things a step further after his relationship with his ‘controlling’ wife reached breaking point.
Fulfilling the wistful daydreams of many a miserable married person, 62-year-old Malcolm secretly left their Birmingham home for the bright lights of London – where he camped in ‘thick woodland’ near Kingston.
Amazingly, the gardener made half of the three week journey on foot after his bike was stolen in Oxford – so if you’re looking for a career which keep you fit as fiddle then perhaps look no further?
According to green-fingered Malcolm, he’d enjoyed a happy life before the turbulent three year marriage began:
Before becoming a companion at Emmaus Greenwich, I was a gardener in Farnborough for 25 happy years.
I loved the job and I still love tending to gardens now – it wasn’t until I got married that my life became increasingly unsettled.
Malcolm’s wife was reportedly furious about him taking on more of his beloved gardening work:
The more work I took on, the angrier my wife got – she didn’t like me being out of the house for long periods of time.
The controlling behaviour started to get out of hand and she demanded that I cut my hours.
After a long time trying to stay in the marriage, I decided to leave for good – without a word to anyone, not even family, I packed up and left – I went missing from them for ten years.
While camping in the secret woodland with three other people, wildman Malcolm was able to pursue his gardening career un-nagged – he worked in the gardens at a community home for the elderly.
However, Malcolm has now apparently put aside his sleeping-beneath-the-stars ways – for now at least.
Malcolm now lives at Emmaus Greenwich – a shelter for homeless people to live, work and ‘rebuild their lives’ – here he works doing a number of odd jobs such as shop work and van driving.
He heard about Emmaus through a fellow ‘runaway’ and realised it could suit him better and spends his spare time fundraising for local homeless charities – recently he raised nearly £300 for Street Souls through a sponsored walk.
Speaking about his current life, it appears Malcolm is happy once again:
I’d like the people who donate to Emmaus to know that I am grateful for being given a second chance at life.
I have a lovely room, I am able to work and I can still lead an active social life – I love it here – my life is officially back on track.
— Emmaus Greenwich (@EmmausGreenwich) October 10, 2017
All the very best of luck to Malcolm with his fresh start.
And for anyone whose other half nips out to the shop suddenly after an argument, maybe check their pockets for any compasses or camping stoves…
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.