I am stuck in one room of somebody’s house in Catford. The funny thing is that my husband and I used to offer lodgings to the parents of this woman in whose house I’m living. There was a time, not too long ago, when nobody wanted to live in Catford. Catford was a place you passed through on your way to somewhere better. Dulwich, Thornton Heath or Forest Hill were the places of choice, then. Now you can barely walk through Catford without bumping into a new estate agency set in between the £1 stores.

Catford is coming up; so the property market would have you believe, yet everywhere I look, I see hardship. I wish that I could do something to help. It’s such a damned shame that this once-promising “the United Kingdom” has become a haven of plenty for some, and a den of poverty for many others. In McDonalds this morning, a chap asked me for twenty-five pence to buy a cup of coffee. I had no change. I gave him five pounds and told him to bring back the rest.

I hadn’t even looked at him. I just knew it would be okay. He had to wait awhile, but as I finished my coffee, I looked up to see him standing before me. He had got his coffee and brought me the change. I thanked him. Later, I gave him one of my Dunkin Donuts. I had bought two and couldn’t eat them both. I hope that someone else will see an honest man in him, and give him a job and a chance to help himself.

Another one is selling “The Big Issue,” but wants to do Social Work. He, I thought, should be given assistance to do a course in Social Care. These were the kinds of people consigned to the dust heap and madhouses of Catford and surrounding areas while other people come from nowhere and climb to the top of the pile. How is that so? It seems as if everyone is encouraged to look down on those whose forefathers helped to build this country with their sweat, blood, and tears.

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