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Showing posts from July, 2011

At the Soup Run

A fine drizzle has started and the crowd waiting on the street close to the Westminster Cathedral piazza in Victoria is slowly growing, even though the first run is not due for another hour. Clusters of eastern European men are quietly chatting. There are a lot of people standing alone wearing rucksacks or clutching plastic bags, pressed against buildings, trying to stay dry. Jacqui and Tommy are sitting cross-legged on the pavement. They seem an incongruous couple. Jacqui has been sleeping rough in London for a few months having fled Glasgow after breaking up with her violent partner. At times it is difficult for me to follow Jacqui’s guttural Glaswegian but it seems that she has been asked to leave a number of hostels and day centres because of her behaviour and was even banned from the entire Victoria area for a while and forced to move over the river to Vauxhall. She is unconcerned by this reputation for aggression and intends to continue sleeping rough as there is nothing for