Friday, 20 October 2017


It’s that time of the year…

Scratchy throat, blocked up nose, coughing…yep, we are into cold and flu season.

I often suffer from a cold when the weather turns cold; I don’t think I wrap up enough, or is it just the germs that the children bring to school?

Feeling less than brilliant, I set off to Yoga. Just before the session I notice a rough sleeper under the tunnel nearby. I stop to chat, and explain that I won’t have change until after the class – she replied ‘cheers’ in a croaky voice – someone else who also gets unwell at the start of Autumn.

Q: “Why are you sitting under here though, in the shade? There’s lots of sunny spots?

A: “The police move you on, but it’s not just that, they can give you an ASBO.

I pause awhile to take this in. So, if she is hanging about in more visible areas she will be moved on and face a possible ASBO? Surely not, surely if she wasn’t begging (which she wasn’t, I just happen to know she sleeps rough and I like to help her out) or being a drunken nuisance…?

Apparently so. We, the people in "normal-land", with houses, cars and warm places to go do not wish to see grubby ‘poor’ people on the streets. Even though we are all just one pay cheque away from poverty ourselves.

This is why I can’t get rid of it, the weather…I can’t get completely dry so it just lingers on.

Imagine that. You have a stinking cold, coughing etc and not only do you have to sit in hidden spots under the underpass, but if it rains and you are caught in it, there is nowhere to warm up or put on new clothes. She did have a tent and outside equipment, but they were stolen a few months ago.

I stop feeling sorry for myself and carry on with my day; a day of cappuccinos, laptops, purring cats and friends.

Yes, I have a cold and it is rubbish. Compared to some, however I am very, very, blessed.

written by : Ruth Lee

Want to help? I gather stories from the streets and sometimes run fundraisers to help buy essentials for the homeless. If you would like to do something positive and practical to help, then please get in touch and drop me a line at :

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