The park down Victoria Road . . .
A woman was lying in an alcove on a piece of cardboard. I’ve been seeing her around the area for a year or more. She usually pushes around a cart with the usual rags, pieces of cardboard, recyclable bottles, or half lies in one of the doorways in an office building after hours. She is a big woman with long grey hair, maybe a little crazy. Sometimes I see people talking to her, but mostly she keeps to herself, one of the many street people that call that strange anonymous area between the Houses of Parliament, Victoria and Pimlico home.
She was lying on a piece of cardboard, staring into nothing. Around the corner, on the edge of the planter which borders the little park at the top of Stutton Ground, were three Sainsbury sandwiches, still in their boxes. I stopped, thought back to the woman, wondering if I should bother – then thought well why not. I went back and asked her if she was hungry, if she wanted some sandwiches.
She looked at me with just a touch of concern:
“Oh no love, I was the one put them out. If you’re hungry, help yourself lad, don’t be shy – that’s what I put them there for, for people to come and ‘ave ’em.”