An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle?

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Normally I’d write five hundred words or so on the human condition but pictures speak louder than words. The things that are missed when you’re homeless and a woman? Toiletries, the ability to smell nice and feminine and not half washed. Some days you’ll have an uninterrupted place to wash, like if you find a place in a shelter, but on other days it’s a case of finding a vacant and empty toilet washroom, and even if it’s empty when you enter, it doesn’t stay that way.

Hanging clothes in a wardrobe, pure luxury once you acquire a home (if you have), it’s nice not to have to choose between wearing a wax printed cotton dress (which crumples) or lycra dresses and leggings. Security, women on the street outside of London look like crap for a reason, it’s safer having matted hair and a dirty face around homeless guys who are frustrated in every way it is possible to be frustrated.

The joy of having a home to walk into on a freezing cold night or on a night when it’s pouring with rain (as it was just the other day) indescribable.

The stats on homelessness in London? There have been increases in rough sleeping above the national average with an increase of 16%. There has been a year upon year increase in people sleeping rough for the past six years. 

After Westminster, the highest incidences of rough sleeping were recorded in Brighton and Hove (144), Cornwall (99), Manchester (78), Luton (76), Bristol (74), Croydon (68), Redbridge (60), Bedford (59) and Birmingham (55).

Just 6,856 affordable homes were built in 2014-15, with Richmond building just five, says GLA months before the mayoral election. 

The total number of homes that have been taken out of council control under the government’s ‘right to buy’ policy (which means that if you are homeless local councils can’t ride to the rescue with government built housing?) well over a million homes, only 6-7,000 of which have been replaced, hence the housing crisis in London.

Enjoy the photographic gallery….It says it all.

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Nine towers of deteriorating housing lines Wolvercote Road in Greenwich it has been proposed they be demolished but if they are where will these residents live? London has no affordable housing to replace this!

 

The First Casualty Is Innocence

 

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Walk past Sainsburys, the yellow building (a new build of private flats), and the grey building that looks like an airport terminal but isn’t (remember the airport terminal from the film ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’?), and you’re in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Head ten minutes in the opposite direction and you’re in the Borough of Bexley. But then I discover that Lesnes Abbey Nature Reserve (ten minutes in the other direction) is actually in Abbeywood.

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Thamesfield could be the preserve of Bexley Borough, this is what all the residential rubbish bins have printed on their sides, but if that is the case, why is there a Royal Borough of Greenwich Library down the road?

Trying to figure out why nobody seems to outright own the nine towers of Wolverton Rd (in Thamesfield) is as frustrating as trying to make ends meet on Universal Credit. I am a single person, this is a good thing, with £40.00 I can food shop for the whole month eat and still wind up looking like a high fashion clothes horse (size 18 shrinking to a size 12). The smaller I get the cheaper my clothes become, wonderful!

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As for Universal Credit housing costs, who knew that as a single person I am actually entitled to a far higher amount for housing costs than would be the case if I was part of a couple?

But I have to wonder? Nutritious food is a necessary for concentration and creative thinking, particularly when you’re young. So how on earth did we wind up with impoverished, half-starved youngsters living (with their families) in council housing, creative enough to acquire safe houses and machine guns to guard their drug dealing? Even with that degree of creativeness how on earth did they acquire the money needed to gain possession of safe houses and guns? Even with the safe houses and the guns, how on earth did they acquire such significant amounts of drugs?

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Did you know that on one estate (recently) police had to patrol the area with firearms after a spate of shootings, and that on another a police operation netted 1/10 living on the estate who were involved in drugs & gang culture?

Did you know that England has it’s own stash of millionaire drug dealers? No? And this despite all the intensive and extensive investment made by three separate Labour Governments to combat the problem of drugs and the cartels.

The more I think about all these things the more confused I get (and hungry).

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I have discovered that eating Japanese influenced food means I get more energy for my pound, for example a half a small pack of Korean noodles steeped in tomato sauce from a can of sardines, plus a sardine and a half and some beans is very nutritious and energy giving. In fact a half small pack of noodles prepared in this way can provide me with three cheap meals, wonderful! Each time I shop for food  I feel a surge of jubilation, I am a cost effective shopper, it’s just that I keep on losing all this weight. Ah well, must dash! Today I visit the dentist for the first time in two years!

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Even The Black Bird..

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This morning I was surprised to see a black bird swoop into and out of a circuit box affixed to an apartment on the Thamesfield Estate, this was the Thames Mere section of the estate which has now been emptied and is in the process of being demolished. It reminded me that God’s creation will pretty much make a home anyplace it views to be warm, safe and secure.

Concrete boxes piled one on top of another, constructed with an economy sized balcony but no front or back garden. Plush looking housing estates with communal gardens which do not permit the playing of basketball or football. No matter the inconveniences built in by a government rubber stamping projects on the basis of ‘any housing is good housing’, people will take the properties they’re offered on the basis of safety and security first and artistic beauty later.

Witness the plethora of security guards driving and patrolling around projects which have yet to be completed and you’ll know this to be the case and it’s a fallacy. Cubitt Square in Kings Cross, has been built right across the road from an estate fronted by apartments with barred wrought iron anti-burglary gates protecting their porches. There has been an issue with burglary orientated crime in this area for some time.

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When Thamesfield was first built in the 1970s it was considered to be a safe and secure place and it still is pretty much. Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ was filmed in part on this location because it was considered (at the time) to be aesthetically beautiful, a symbol of things to come.

True, Thamesmere (in Thamesfield) and Corralina Walk have now been emptied and will be rebuilt, because of associations with drug dealing and drug addiction, but then under 40% of resident adults are in full-time employment, 11.7% work part-time and 30% have been classified as being economically inactive. Let us also not forget that Brexit looms on the horizon, things have been hard and if these negotiations go as many have predicted, things are destined to get even harder for those already struggling in places like Thamesmere, Greenwich.