Man Who Feeds Birds
comes down here everyday and walks 3 miles of the Common for exercise
(he's had 2 heart bypasses and 1 operation on his stomach. The
1st bypass in 1984 was on the NHS and very successful. The 2nd
and the stomach operation he had to pay for himself, as waiting
lists were too long. They cost him £30,000 combined. He
says this, and state pensions, are this country's downfall.)
resents the fact that people in London told him not to feed the
pigeons because 'they are dirty' when there are young people doing
drugs and living in boxes on the streets who don't even shave.
says that he knows the pigeons on the Common and recognises a
new one with brown feathers and a pinky green sheen. I tell him
it's because the pigeon population must have heard about his reputation
and canteen services. He laughs and then tells me he buys 7 or
8 almost out-of-date loaves from Safeway for 10-25p each, leaves
them in his kitchen and then just takes what he needs each day.
her knee isn't bad, his wife sometimes walks with him, but today
he's on his own, walking to build up an appetite before dinner
at 4pm (he's under strict instructions to be home by then)
moved to this country in 1952 and has worked for his living rather
than accept any handouts. He thinks this country shouldn't be
giving homes to so many people. He doesn't think they should be
given mobile phones when they haven't even got a passport (I just
nod along. I don't really understand)
laments the loss of pay-phones and public benches. He thinks the
world is changing even faster than ever and wants to know about
the next technological development is going to be. I tell him
I can't help him with that.
hated Mrs. Thatcher. But dislikes Tony Blair just as much.