zero is a magic number – homelessness in Devon

In a lockdown environment, much like any other domestic crisis, it is the unrepresented that bear the residue of whatever action the government takes.  In this case it is the homeless population of Exeter.

Since the lockdown an encampment of rough sleepers have congregated outside the high street town hall with tents to shelter them whilst public charity and soup runs dry up to make their situation even more distressing.

Police as a response say, ‘there is little they can do’ even when breaking social distancing standards because ‘the street is technically their home’.

So whilst the police do nothing to sate the situations of the most vulnerable the city council states they are working around the clock finding accommodation for rough sleepers in hotels and hostels for the next 12 weeks to avoid contracting or spreading Covid-19.  But while the encampment exists the vulnerable see little sign of their conditions being sated anytime soon.

The councils are needing to act hurriedly and police engage more to protect the most vulnerable, but many are sceptical what happens once the pandemic has waned.  What liberal minded society would accept hearing a government say, ‘we have the homeless figures to an acceptable level’ when the numbers aren’t reduced to zero?


An announcement within a canvas



The Austrian neurologist Victor E Frankl was one of the many witnesses who spoke of the existential horrors they frightfully observed and engaged with in the Holocaust, as well as the lessons that could be applied in the real world if they survived. The magnificent book he wrote of his account, ‘Man’s search for meaning’ also applied a philosophy to a life that is potently aware of it’s mortality. One individual he spoke to in the camp spoke about the futility of life and how empty it is. Frankl in calm delivery asked the man what he did before he came to the camp. After finding out the frail person was a scientist in the real world the doctor looked at him and simply uttered, ‘but if you give up now who will that write that book for you?’. Frankl never knew whether he ever wrote the book he was destined to write or had even survived the systematic execution of his people, but the sentiment the good doctor wanted to convey to the man in that moment was clear.

Our meaning cannot be handed to us, we have to dig for it ourselves. If something doesn’t work then we try a different method of gouging the soil from the earth. But, “The most thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging” Warren Buffet said that for those who simply buy themselves into debt and lack the tools to reach a level ground in their finances, but it can be applied to almost any situation that requires the individual to learn what’s fruitful and what feeds more decay toward what will eventually bring the fruit tree down. So in order to keep Lemons in I’ve decided to change something drastically and have this week begun writing my first book on the subject of ‘revolution’. This is my fruit tree, the book that no-one else shall write for me. I shall keep all of you who view my blog updated when I can about my progress but it’s in its infancy stages yet so no details yet, no heart beat, just the conception. But in regard to my own artistic development, what a beautiful birth it shall be.

“Only in art will the Lion lie down with the Lamb and the Rose grow without thorn” – Martin Amis