The Occupy second temporary occupation of Southend was set up today at the north end of the high street outside the Odeon Cinema. A few tents and a video booth, a huddle of the enlightened 99% and an apparently oblivous majority of the same. There was a flag which was quite impressive and a handful of police officers, who were not.
Funny spot. Funny sort of place Southend. The High Street, although a symbol of rampant consumerism and capitalist concerns, is actually struggling – no 1% to be found here. There’s quite a lot of shop space empty and those that thrive seem to be the pound shops and discount stores. Marks and Spencer’s maw gaped open wide, the broken automatic sliding doors were taped off for the health and safety of the beige brigade punters who seem to turn eternal geriatric pirouettes of confusion in the food aisles.
I passed a homeless guy outside The Factory Shop. It’s a an aphorism, but you do tend to notice the homeless more when they are holed up with a dog. Sad but true. I couldn’t tell you a thing about the guy, he was hunkered down with his head in his chest and not in the way a racehorse goes to post, but in the other way. The dog slept, but was a big brown teddy bear type mongrel; looked fierce if needs be and I suppose needs do be often on the streets.
When I walked back up the street about an hour later, the temporary Occupy Southend camp had gone; it’ll be back more permanently somewhere in Southend in February. The homeless guy was on the move with another man, probably not homeless, and the big brown dog. As I passed by, the vagrant chucked his polystyrene cup into a shrub. I don’t suppose he bothers picking up his dog’s shit either – why would he?
It’s not too cold out tonight, but it’s going to get that way again soon according to the weather reports.
All the above makes me think. None of what it makes me think is new. If your are recycling thoughts, it might be time to act on them.