LONDON: Applegate left his wife for the woods one day without telling anyone and lived there for five years, staying hidden for a total of 10.
“I camped in thick woodland near Kingston, and made that home for five years while maintaining the gardens at a local community center for the elderly,” Applegate said.
Gardening is what started the problems in his marriage.
He says his wife didn’t want him working so many hours and would get upset over any time he spent outside of the house.
“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,” Applegate said.
He set out from Birmingham, U.K., to London by bicycle and later on foot after his bike was stolen.
The journey took nearly three weeks.
Applegate eventually moved into Emmaus Greenwich Centre, a South London homeless shelter, where he works odd jobs and raises money for the homeless in his spare time.
“My day-to-day involves working in the shop or driving the vans; I’m not fussy what jobs are given to me as long as I’m working,” Applegate said.
Family and friends had no idea what had happened to him until he finally broke his silence to his sister.