Shelter’s latest magazine dropped on my mat. I placed it on the little table next to my sofa. I made a cup of tea and located the welsh cakes. Absent mindedly kicked around an idea or two for a ride later. My daughter played with her dolls, her imagination running riot. I milled around. Flicked through a copy of the Ride Journal. Such lovely artwork. Always catches my eye. An article about touring passes a few minutes. I swop magazines.
4 kids and a mum pack a tiny bedroom, paper hanging from its walls.
London house prices highlight the plight of those trying to make ends meet in the big smoke.
A group of protesters put principles before comfort in ramshackle shanty towns on the fringes of big commerce.
Eviction. “The proportion of people becoming homeless as their tenancies ended has doubled over the last decade”.
The articles are compelling. So often life moves from one commitment to the next – some based on choice, some unavoidable – that there are things that you take for granted. Like our shared interest for instance. Riding. Home is the where plans are hatched, debated and agreed. The place you collapse in, after a day on the hill. Our interest, as cyclists, is cultivated and nutured at home, a luxury afforded by feeling comfortable in one (wherever you might find it). Bad housing and homelessness is one of the issues of in the first quarter of the 21st century. The latest copy of ‘Here’ briefly yanked me away from all that fluffy ‘isn’t cycling fun?’ stuff – a reminder of how fortunate some of us are.
A few moments later, I fire up the laptop and top up my contribution. Its the Christmas campaign at the minute. Autumn sunlight streams through my windows and makes the LCD screen difficult to read. Christmas seems a lifetime away. It’s not of course. The annual celebration of excessive consumerism lurks 3 months ahead. I stood in a shop the other day next to a stand full of cards depicting wintery scenes, while sweat tracked the course of my courier bag strap. With so many struggling so hard, our priorities it seems, can be so strangely out of whack.
Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and campaigns to prevent it in the first place. You can find out more about the work of Shelter here. The crappy doodle of the bike on the cover was not part of the original cover design.