The Knack: How To Survive Winter Streets By Adrian Bradley
Friday 17 December 1999
If you sit, you get cold, so you walk. Find somewhere covered to sleep. I sleep in a car park. It's a bit draughty, but it's dry - the wet is more of a problem than the cold.
I cover my kit with bin bags, but a lot of homeless people can't be bothered carrying kit around and they end up trying to survive in the winter with just a blanket.
In the summer, when it's light and warm, you can sit and read outside until quite late. In the winter it's difficult because the evenings are very long. Sometimes I sit in shopping centres until the security guys chuck me out, or in a shelter and listen to my radio until it's time to go to the car park.
I avoid city centres, especially on Friday or Saturday nights when everyone's out getting drunk. The worst experience I've had is when a guy pissed on me. I had tried somewhere different to sleep and it obviously wasn't out of the way enough. Towards Christmas time you notice a change in people's attitudes - they buy the Big Issue more and give money. I suppose they're out spending loads and when they see us, standing on the street, it sparks something off and they want to be generous.
For the last two Christmases I went to a day centre: you can have a dinner there. Everywhere else is shut. If you're homeless, that's the worst thing about Christmas: nothing's open and there's nowhere to go. This year I've got a friend I can stay with on Christmas Eve. On Christmas night I shall be back at the car park.
Adrian Bradley has spent the last two winters living on the street and is a `Big Issue' vendor in Bristol. The magazine's bumper Christmas edition is on sale from tomorrow
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits due to illness
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
Friends reunion: Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Great British Bake Off embroiled in Baked Alaska 'sabotage' scandal
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >