I felt Siroccos – crawl

September 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

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When I was living on £10 a week for food, because of mistakes with housing benefit payments, I didn’t need a hug. I needed a fiver, just to have a little bit more to eat. I didn’t need to be teleported to Sicily to see how the street cleaners ate, I needed someone to point out that the 21p can of kidney beans could be the staple ingredient in a nutritious meal. I needed practical advice about what to do with the tins of food given to me by the food bank.

As I said in an earlier blog post: “Try it. For a month, or two, or five. Unscrew your lightbulbs, turn off your fridge, sell anything you can see lying around that you might get more than £2 for. Missing days of meals, with the heating off all winter, selling your son’s shoes and drinking his formula milk that the food bank gave you. Stop going out. Walk everywhere, even in the pouring rain, in your only pair of shoes, with a wet and sobbing three-year-old…

“Drag that three-year-old into every pub and shop in unreasonable walking distance and ask if they have any job vacancies. Get home, soaking, still unemployed, to dry out in a freezing cold flat. Then drag yourself to the cooker to pour some pasta into a pan, pour some chopped tomatoes on top, and try not to hurl it across the room when your son tells you that he doesn’t like it… You’re full of rain and heartache and anger and despair and it’s starting to seep through the cracks…”

This person does not pop down to a local market and smile sweetly at the stallholder for a handful of gourmet vegetables. This person throws whatever is in the cupboard into a saucepan and prays that her child will eat it.  read more

ART: Henri Rousseau

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