Saturday, October 5, 2019

An Iron Sign


Olga and I came across this unexpected sight yesterday while taking our normal morning walk. It's probably not a bad place to set up camp, somewhat protected from the wind by those high walls along the path. I heard snippets of conversation from within -- a man and a woman, I think, in a language other than English. I wonder where they're from. Are they unable to go home? Do they not have a home? What leads someone to sleep in a tent on a cold, brick pavement beside the railroad tracks in West Hampstead? How does life bring them to that point?


And then, on the way home, I came across this unexpected sight in front of a house on our street. It's a cast-iron sign that reads, "Passengers are not allowed to cross the railway except by the bridge." It was set out on the curb, presumably for the trash collection (though I don't think the trash guys are ever going to take it, at least not as part of a routine pickup).

It's pretty cool. I'd have taken it myself, but it weighs about 100 pounds and I can't imagine having to deal with that in my life.


And finally, although the garden is entering its autumnal slumber and many of the flowers and plants have faded, there's still some activity out there. The evening primroses are still blooming back in the wildflower garden...


...and a couple of scraggly sunflowers have seeded themselves in our hanging basket on the patio. (I suspect this comes from a critter burying some bird seed.)

I have laundry going, and soon I'll be walking the dog. Just another Saturday!

13 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

It does seem a strange place to set up camp - adjacent to a street light too. Even in West Hampstead I am sure there are more peaceful, secret places to erect a tent. Perhaps you should have invited them to use your garden instead. They would have frightened off the squirrels and Mr Ratty too.

Ms. Moon said...

It's always a shock to come across unexpected humans in places we don't normally see them. I've done that on my walks- seen tents and even once, a man rolled up in a sleeping bag, slumbering away. It feels so intrusive to disturb that area which, even in its most primitive somehow represents a perimeter surrounding that which is someone else's.
I don't know if I'm making sense. It's just a feeling evoked which I have experienced.

Sharon said...

It is sad to wonder about how people got into such a situation. It does make you wonder what the story is behind it. Glad to see some flowers still blooming in your yard. Here, we will start to see blooms showing up again now that it has cooled down a bit.

Red said...

Interesting sign but why would they have to make a 100 pounds?

ellen abbott said...

not hard to understand how people get in this situation...mental illness, can't get a job for any number of reasons, no family to help them out, being taken advantage of, etc.

The Bug said...

I wonder if they were just backpackers & didn’t find anywhere else to stay for the night (says the eternal optimist).

That sign would have looked so cool in your back yard! What were its dimensions? Maybe you could have carried one half at a time home. Ha!

robin andrea said...

We see a lot of homeless people here on the north coast, sleeping in tents or under cardboard or curled up in front of doorway entrances. It is always a sad sight. Life is so hard sometimes, and even harder to find a way out of the spiral downward.

37paddington said...

I am at least glad whomever was inside that tent had shelter, flimsy as it is. Seeing that tent on the brick walk this morning makes me very conscious of my blessings.

Catalyst said...

That first photo takes me back to an article I read yesterday about some San Francisco residents placing huge rocks on their sidewalk to prevent homeless people and drug dealers from pitching tents there. It's a somewhat frightful world we live in.

jenny_o said...

Along the lines of what The Bug said, I wondered if the tenters might be just backpackers also. Whatever the story, it still reminds a person of the number of homeless there truly are, even in our affluent countries.

Good call on the sign! One of my first thoughts before buying most anything these days is, when I no longer want this, how will I be getting rid of it? It saves me from some unwise decisions :)

Beth Reed said...

Just another Saturday is a fulfilled day. I love your photos. It makes me sad to see people homeless. I always wonder what their story is as well. Our homeless population is getting really bad here. Our Governor is railing against city hall to get some help but I don't know if they ever will.

I would love to have that sign but not at 100 pounds lol. Still it is interesting. I use to collect so many things that were old. Especially coffee cans and I had a great collection that was found in an old house that were built for the workers for the Hoover Dam when I lived in Boulder City Nevada.

I am trying to catch up on my blog reading. I have been so sick but my doctor finally called me in some antibiotics. I had to be really sick for a long time in order to get the antibiotics tho.

Our Saturday has included movies. X-Men The Dark Phoenix, Spider Man and Aladdin. All of them are really good.

Have an awesome week ahead Steve.

Allison said...

In Seattle the homeless set up camps along the freeways. There are a lot of them. It seems like as a planet we should be able to do better than this.
Good move on not taking that sign!

Edna B said...

I cast offer a solution to the homeless situation, but maybe the towns and cities could set aside a piece of land where these unfortunate folks could set up their tents and camps. They really should not be scattered around town on sidewalks, by freeways, under lamps, etc. Maybe a sheltered area in town would be better. Of course, that's not the best solution, but I don't see one coming along any time soon. It's really a sad situation. Folks with a place to go home to should really count their blessings. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.