Accidentally Begging in London, 2001
ah, the begging...when I left hospital in London 2001 after my renal
failure and a fortnight courtesy of St Mary's Hospital Paddington ( to
whom I literally owe my life- as well as a few other people - but that
was the main one then ) I was released from hospital with a sackful of
tablets and our Dept of Employment decided I was owed £35 for a
fortnight...( in London, where you have capital city tax, like I suspect
the rest of the world suffers - whatever was 75p elsewhere was £1.15 in
I still looked quite rough ( as you can imagine ) hadn't had a shave
and was quite scruffy cos none of my clothes fitted me anymore.
I walked up through Portobello Market
to the Local Tesco, but just near the door I went really hot and
thought I was going to keel over...I took my woolly hat off and squatted
just off from the doorway of the Tesco.
I'd been there about 30 seconds, and on the way out of the shop a kind lady dropped a pound coin into my hat.
First of all I was quite miffed ("I'm no bloody trampy beggar!")
and whilst I never said "help the homeless" - ( 'cos I wasn't) I just
watched 10 or so people drop varying amounts of change into my
hat...people are quite generous, I think, plus I must have looked effing
10 minutes passed and no coins dropped in. With my heart now steadily
bumping with adrenaline, I took a deep breath and squeaked out "spare
some change please?"
It worked. I started asking more confidently, shook off the insults
that came along with the money and sat there for about 4 hours.
I'd made about £60 quid and some copper...I couldn't believe it.
Thing is, I never went back to do it again. It felt like you were
only allowed one go, and nobody likes people who take the piss after
There you go. I begged in London by accident...