About the author

40 something, twice married, twice divorced, six kids. Martin Rogers is a product of his generation. Ducking and diving, he’s been a messenger boy, has delivered milk, worked as a photocopier engineer, sold fruit and veg door to door, cleaned windows, laid bricks and been a driving instructor but mostly he has spent his time simply trying to survive all the pitfalls of modern life. Like most of us, Martin stumbles from minor disaster to major crisis, but with one great difference: he simply will not lay down and be kicked. He's lived in squats and owned his own home, driven old bangers and gleaming showroom gems, been in and out of work and in and out of love.

South London born and raised, Martin suffers everything that the city, the suburbs and beyond can throw at him, clashing with council officials and parking wardens, policemen and shop managers, not to mention the neighbours, the family and mere passers-by, but he's the stuff of their nightmares for when the system conspires against him, his hackles raise and he growls simply: "I ain't 'aving that!"

He'll fight his own case through the courts, start a picket line or raise a petition where needed, and spend hours writing letters or on the phone. But, whatever, he'll never be fobbed off.

So many things go wrong for the man that you could no way call him a winner. But one thing's even more certain: he isn't one of life's losers either. Turning survival into an art form, he might lose his rag but never his cool and while he might not always emerge on top, Martin's always got a great yarn to spin.

Disaster stalks him; when things go wrong he's usually at the receiving end but he never becomes a victim. There's a bit of Martin in all of us. This is his story.