Day 32 SWCP Polperro to Looe

View as I walk into Looe

View as I walk into Looe

This was my last available day to do some walking on the South West Coast Path for a while. Waking up and looking out of the tent, again there was nothing to see except the mist so I had some breakfast before packing the tent up and sticking it into the roof box on the car to dry out once I get home. Left the car at the camp site and walked down to Polperro where it was all very quiet before the visitors arrive. Again, the mist was only at higher level so it wasn’t too miserable looking down at the harbour where the tide was on it’s way in. The path continues along the east side of the harbour passing some very pretty cottages and rises steeply for a short distance onto the cliffs. There is a war memorial on the headland but the coast path currently misses this due to a diversion because of cliff erosion. Instead, the path crosses farmland before joining a single track road down to Talland Bay. Here, there is a nice little cafe where I stopped for a coffee looked at the delicious looking cakes opting for a piece of Tiffin although I was disappointed with it. Tiffin normally has chocolate, biscuit and raisins in but this was a different recipe and was much too sweet and seemed to be a caramel icing on it. Another couple had toasted tea cakes which I missed on the menu board and would have enjoyed. Anyway, once I finished my drink, I carried on along the low cliffs where remainder of the walk was quite easy going and it wasn’t long before ‘Looe Island’ also known as ‘St. George’s Island’ was in view . I was soon in the suburban area at Hannafore which is the western end of Looe where the road and pavement for part follow along to the tidal river at East and West Looe. Here, there are plenty of shops, boat trips, bus service and railway station. I sat and waited for the bus back to Polperro while chatting a an elderly scotsman who moved here around fifty years ago. He lived a tough sea fishing life in Scotland with his father then decided to come here and start a fishing business. He told me how back then, people used to ask if he would take them for a trip around the bay and he realised this would compliment his fishing business. Nobody else was doing this so he found the summer months were very profitable although it wasn’t too long before others starting cashing in on it. His son has taken on the business which he is pleased about. We also chatted about my trips to Scotland and the unspoilt Isle of Islay. My bus arrived so I said farewell and headed back to the car and my journey home. Hopefully, I will be back soon to cover the last couple of walks into Devon from where it will become easier to fit a weekend walking in over the winter months.

Fitbit results for today: 18,350 steps, 11.8 miles, 123 ‘floors’ climbed, 3191 cals burned.

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Day 31 SWCP Polruan to Polperro

'Pirates' at Lansallos

‘Pirates’ at Lansallos

I was awoken by the sound of rain at 3:30am but it didn’t last long but did start again at 7:45 so I lay there hoping it would stop which it did at around 9am. I looked out and found the same view as yesterday – Fog! Everything I wore yesterday was still sodden but luckily I had bought spare boots etc so I got dressed and emerged from the tent and put the kettle on for tea  and fried some bacon for some butties. I packed some refreshments in my rucksack and walked down the long hill into Polperro, down through the village to the harbour where the coast path passes through. I walked to the west side and climbed up the steep path heading towards Polruan which is on the east side of the Fowey estuary where the passenger ferry operates across the river which I had used on my last visit. The path is full of ups and downs with some quite steep. There wasn’t much to see with the fog today though it did start to lift for a while and at one point, the sun nearly broke through. I reached a concrete tower which is used as a marker to shipping to warn of offshore rocks. I had a conversation with another walker here then a little further met Catherine who I chatted to earlier in the week. I asked her how she coped with yesterday’s rain. She said she reached Fowey in the rain and went into a cafe where there walkers were sheltering including the family from germany and a couple walking cornwall carrying tent, equipment and a  six month old baby! Catherine told me she had decided to stay at a b & b for the night to dry out though it was expensive. I wished her a safe journey and carried onwards. At Lansallos, I walked down to the beach which I recognised from a family holiday in 1999. The NT were having a family coastal adventure day today and some ‘pirates’ were sat on the rocks hoping some people might turn up to join in but the weather was disappointing for that. As I walked around the cove, I met the couple with their baby having a break before the next section to Polperro. I continued my walk around the bay passing an old watch house below on the rocks before rounding Pencarrow Head and into the impressive Lantic Bay. Sadly, the fog returned and spoilt the wonderful views as I neared Polruan. The Red Arrows should have been flying here today as part of the regatta week but there would be a lot of disappointed people. There is a bus service back to Polperro from here but I decided that I would walk it and take my time hoping the weather might improve and perhaps get a view. However, it actually worsened as I got nearer Polperro and my feet were quite sore from getting so wet yesterday. I headed straight back to the campsite and paid for another night’s camping before cooking some food and climbing into my sleeping bag.

Today’s Fitbit stats: 36.073 steps. 15.85 miles. 4167 cals burned. 215 ‘floors’ climbed.

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Day 30 SWCP Par to Fowey

Polkerris

Polkerris

As forecast last week, today was a change in the weather. I was awoken by the sound of rain on the tent at 3.30 which continued through the night and into the following day. As I was moving on today,  I stayed in my sleeping bag until around 9am when there was a brief interlude and a chance to quickly remove the inner tent and put it into the car before taking down the outer canvas and stick in the roof box so as not to get everything else wet. James Whetter called to give me a copy of his book ‘Walking Cornwall in the 1990s’ which he thought I might find of interest and I will read over the winter months. It was too wet to make any breakfast today so as I drove through St. Austell, I called in at the Tesco store to get some supplies for the next couple of days and bought a hot pasty for my breakfast. Once I had eaten that, I drove to Par and parked the car at the start of the one-way system where there are plenty of spaces to park. I put on my walking boots, Peter Storm waterproof coat and put a few bits in a carrier bag as this rain would just get anything in my rucksack soaking wet. I walked along to 52 Par Green to where the coast path goes down the side and out towards the caravan park. There is a car park at the top of the beach and the path climbs the cliff from the east end of here. By this time, I was very wet and the wind blowing off the sea didn’t help. The path carried along the top going alongside a field before heading through woodland where the path was becoming a  stream as it wound it’s way down to Polkerris. I would like to admired the cove more but the rain was torrential by now and as the path continued, the standing water meant I had no choice but to walk through it with the water getting into my boots meaning my feet would soon be getting sore from wet socks rubbing against them. As I reached the start of Gribbin Head, the rain started to ease and the mist came down and I nearly missed a tower that I had seen for days from the distance, wondering if it was a lighthouse. It is an 84ft Greco Gothic square tower built in 1832 as a daymark to pinpoint the approach to Fowey harbour. On some summer Sundays, it is open to the public to climb. A short distance from here is Polridmouth, a grand house with large ornamental lake with stepping stones to cross as the coast path crosses this point. This location is said to have been the inspiration for Daphne de Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’. During the Second World War, lights were put up around the lake as a decoy to make the enemy think that this was the entrance to Fowey estuary. The path carries on through woodland and up over a field before arriving at St. Catherine’s Castle (EH) and down to Readymoney Copse (NT) on the outskirts of Fowey. The mist meant that the view wasn’t as attractive as my visit in the spring when I came down and stayed here with Netta for the weekend. All the flags were up now as it was Regatta Week though I didn’t intend hanging around as I just wanted to head back to the car and get my boots off. I found the bus stop at the top of the hill outside The Safe Harbour Inn and the bus arrived as I did. I got on with a few others and asked the driver for a single ticket to Par.  “£5.00. Is that ok?” he said. “Ok thanks” I replied but it seemed a lot compared to other journeys  but I just assumed that was correct! As the bus left, he pulled up alongside an oncoming bus and had a conversation with the driver while holding up all the traffic. A bit further on, he pulled in at a bus stop and asked if anyone was familiar with this bus route before making a phone call. “You all need to get off this bus and onto the one coming up behind.” he said to us. Sounds like Reading Station all over again I thought! I got on and the driver waved me through but I questioned him about the cost of my ticket. He looked it up and told me “Should be £3.00. He’s given you a ticket to Mevagissy.” I’m pleased to say he gave me the difference back. The bus continued the journey and we arrived at Par where I could get into the car, take off my boots and coat and put my sandals on before driving to Fowey and catching the Boddinick Ferry and heading to Polperro to the next campsite at Great Kellow Farm. The SWCP guide informs the campsite is 500 metres from the coast path though the direction sign on the junction at the top of the village says it is 800m from there. I drove in and wondered if it was actually open as I couldn’t see any tents or caravans about. A bit further in and I realised the fog was now so thick that visibility was just a few yards and there were actually a few other tents and caravans there. I went to the farmhouse and paid £6.00 for a pitch which was reasonable. Cheaper than a day’s parking in Polperro. I set up the tent then headed for the shower which although it had hot water, it was no more than a trickle coming out so not as good as I’d hoped. With some dry clothes on, I got the stove out and made some tea, my first today, before getting out a tin of Chilli Con Carne which I heated up and ate before huddling up inside my tent until the next morning. Hopefully, the weather will improve!

Fitbit stats for today: 21,959 steps. 9.8 miles. 3282 cals burned. 148 ‘floors’ climbed.

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Day 29 SWCP Gorran Haven to Par

Charlestown

Charlestown

I wasn’t in a hurry to get up this morning after a busy couple of days walking. It was 8.30 when I emerged from my tent into the warm sunshine. The walkers who arrived last night had already gone. I made a couple of mugs of tea and bacon butties before I thought about walking anywhere. James came to ask where I walking heading to and suggested reaching Charlestown. The weather was perfect again so I just wanted to walk as far as I could.

When I felt ready, I walked back down the steep hill to the harbour and resumed my walk eastwards along the South West Coast Path. The path goes along the road past houses with new, modern and expensive looking ones being built around the village. Once on top of the cliff, it is quite easy going around to Chapel Point (where I spotted the man in the suit again sat talking with another walker) and into Portmellon. The path goes along the road around the cove, passing The Rising Sun Inn then over the hill and a short walk around to Mevagissy. A well known fishing village, it was very busy here this morning and businesses getting ready for the day ahead. Walking through here, you can’t miss the bright blue hydrangeas around the village. At the harbour, fishermen were busy sorting out their fishing nets, ready for the next trip to sea later. A steep climb at the far end of the harbour takes you up to some playing fields, passing some houses then along the cliff top to pass Portgiskey Cove where there is some steep up and down for a while then a view of Pentewan Sands. I meet a family with an older lady coming the other way. “Are there many more hills?” the mother asks me. They are heading to Mevagissey and just climbed a steep path over the fields and the grandmother was struggling a bit. The mother told me “Mum lives in Manchester and walks about but there aren’t any steep hills there. The sign said it’s only 2 miles so we thought that would be easy.” I told them it had taken me around 45 minutes and that was with walking poles. I told them “as much as I hate to put you off, it’s not easy going and wouldn’t want you to get to the point where you’re too tired to go on or turn back. Plus, it’s a very hot day and you need drinks.” They were grateful for my advice and decided to turn back and would catch the bus. “You’ll enjoy Mevagissy a lot more when you get there!”

Once at Pentewan, the path follows the road past the holiday park and into the village where there are pubs, shops and toilets. The path continues up a hill for a short distance to a turning on the right, passing some cottages and a church before through lush vegetation and out to the cliffs with more excellent views, passing Hallane Mill Beach and out to Black Head Point where there is a large granite memorial to a local poet and historian. Here, I met Shaun who was one of the walkers from the campsite last night. “You had an early start” I said. “I like to get going at around 5:30 and take it slowly” he told me. We chatted for a while before I headed on to Ropehaven Woods where the guides warns of ‘some confusing paths’ which did catch me out. There is a seat where a path goes off to the left but I carried on to some recently made steps going down towards the coast. Just as you get to the bottom, there are a couple of properties and a sign saying ‘No access to beach’. This was very unhelpful and the sign would be better placed at the junction with the seat where I should have turned left. I was careful to watch out for markers from here and continued to Polpean, another popular beach today. Here, the path goes along the top of the sea wall, past a refreshment building to the far end of the wall where steps lead to a new path which has recently been reinstated, avoiding a two mile diversion inland after more cliff erosion. It is an easy walk from here to Charlestown with it’s georgian harbour and resident tall ships. There are pubs, refreshments and toilets here plus bus service. I sat by the harbour and had some crisps and chocolate from my rucksack then bought myself a refreshing cider ice lolly to enjoy. In front, I spotted the couple with young son walking up the hill who I later discovered were from Germany and were spending a couple of weeks walking the cornish coastline. From here, after a climb up the hill, the path is quite easy along low cliffs passing through Carlyon Bay with it’s magnificent hotel and a golf course before arriving at Par. Here, the area is dominated by the huge china clay works. The path runs inland around the perimeter of the works, joining the main road and into the village. Once you reach the one-way system, Par Green is the road exiting the no entry. Walk along here to house no. 52 where the path turns off.

This was the end of my walk for the moment. I walked to the main line station to catch a train to St. Austell (£2.70) and bus to Mevagissy from where I had to walk back to the campsite. Passing back through Porthmellon, I couldn’t resist calling in at ‘the Rising Sun Inn’ for a pint. As I ordered, I noticed on the ‘Specials Board’ that Liver and Bacon was on the menu. I don’t get to have that as the family don’t like it so I decided this would replace some calories and give me energy for the walk back to Gorran Haven and that steep walk to the campsite.

Today’s Stats: 47,101 steps. 21.01 miles. 5560 cals burned. 379 ‘floors’ climbed.

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Day 28 SWCP Portscatho to PortLoe to Gorran Haven

Portloe

Portloe

An early start today after an uncomfortable night in the car! I drove along the coast and parked above Portscatho and with my handy gas stove, made a mug of tea and a bacon roll, enjoying the early morning sun coming up which looked promising for the day ahead.

Feeling refreshed, I started walking along the coast path and around Nare Head, ending up at Porthloe by 8.30. This was another little cove that I didn’t know but looked very pretty with boats arriving back in from fishing trips and a nice looking hotel on the slipway. I decided I should head back to the car and find a campsite before I do anything else. My guide book recommended an place at Gorran Haven which was a few miles along the coast which sounded ideal at £10 p.n. and 1km from the coast path. I tried to follow the lanes but the place names on the road signs didn’t match the names on my AA road map so I ended up going to St. Austell and towards Mevagissy when I found a sign for Gorran Haven. I arrived at Trelispen camping and caravan site as many were packing up after the weekend but there was plenty of space here and it looked quite clean and tidy. Dr. James Whetter is the owner who came over and welcomed me to the site and told it was £12 p.n. I didn’t question the price as the extra could be because I have a car as well. I was just pleased to find somewhere easily and wouldn’t have to spend another night in the car. I paid for two nights. As I said the site is tidy, has good level ground (a real bonus after my recent camping experiences where I have ended up on a slope and wake up finding myself huddled at one end of the tent!), toilets, showers, washing up area, washing machine and fridge freezer James was interested to know I was walking the SWCP and asked where I was heading. When I told him I had been to Portloe, he said I could walk there and back quite easily from here heading along the road to cut of the headland and joining the path at Hemmick.

Once I had pitched the tent and unpacked a few things, I filled my water bottles, put some snacks into my rucksack and headed off for a long day’s walking. It was around 30 minutes  before I found the coast path down at Hemmick Beach and it was getting very hot. There were a few people here enjoying the water with the sea looking very blue today. The path skirted around some fields and through woodland before arriving at the beautiful Porthluney Cove with the impressive backdrop of Caerhayes Castle. There were lots of families arriving for the day and with parking for £3.50 for the day, this seems very reasonable for such a lovely spot. There are refreshments and toilets here at the top of the clean, sandy beach. The path follows the road up the hill for around a 100 yards due to cliff erosion then turns left into a field and follows the clifftops for a while. Take great care to watch out for marker signs as there are another couple of points where the path has been moved due to cliff erosion. The next village was Portholland (still part of the Caerhayes Estate) where there are more facilities. I kept going as I wanted to reach my destination of Portloe which I did at around 2pm. The tide was out now so I could sit at the bottom of the slipway and enjoy my self – heating meal. A clever invention where you open up the bag which has an inner sachet containing the meal. You just need some water (from a stream or even a muddy puddle!) to activate the self heating system. The water will heating in a few seconds then boil away for around ten minutes when the food is ready to eat. The food in this meal contained sausages, bacon, omelette and beans. The kit even includes cutlery, salt, pepper and napkin. A couple sat nearby were fascinated by it all. A dog was also attracted by the smell and came to investigate!

It had taken me three hours to get here so would be at least four heading back I think. I walked back up the steep path out of the cove and along the cliffs. I met a family coming towards me who were in need of some refreshment and were pleased to know it was only another 10 minute walk. I myself was in need of some cool refreshment in the heat and when I arrived back at Portholland, went into ‘Pebbles’ craft shop and cafe to see what was available. The ice lollies had sold out but they had raspberry ripple tubs for just 50p and an ice cold orange Tango for £1. I sat on the picnic bench and enjoyed these and watching all of the water activities. I spotted a few more walkers around here including one older gentleman wearing a suit who looked a bit uncomfortable in the hot weather. There was also a couple with their son all carrying plenty on their backs. I decided it was time to carry on walking back across the fields and woodland to Porthluney Cove where people were beginning to head off after their day out. Over the hill and down to Hemmick Beach, I continued onto Dodman Point which has some great views up and down the coast and where on the headland is a giant granite cross, built by the vicar of Caerhayes as a navigational aid in 1896. The path continues around ‘The Dodman’ above some sandy beaches before arriving in Gorran Haven. This was yet another very busy harbour village with plenty of places to eat, drink or just relax and watch boats coming and going. It was a long, steep walk up the road from here to the campsite and I was pleased to get to my tent, make a mug of tea and just sit down and relax before having a shower and cooking myself some food. James called across to see how I had got on and was impressed that I had also walked ‘Dodman Point’ on my return. Just before I turned in for the night, a couple of walkers arrived to book in for the night. Catherine and Shaun were walking the SWCP for a few days and each carrying a small tent and camping when they felt they had walked far enough.

Today’s Fitbit stats:  39,888 steps. 17.8 miles. 5612 cals burned. 290 ‘floors’ climbed.

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Day 27 SWCP Falmouth to Portscatho

Evening view to west from St Mawes towards Falmouth

Evening view to west from St Mawes towards Falmouth

Back to my walking along the South west Coast Path, this was going to be a tricky couple of days to get myself and car to each destination.

Day 26 had ended at the ‘Prince Of Wales Pier’ in Falmouth. From here, the route uses a ferry to cross the river to St. Mawes. A very popular harbour village which was very busy with everyone enjoying the warm weather on this August afternoon. I drove the car from home to St. Mawes today, parked the car in the car park and walked around to the headland where there is St. Mawes Castle (English Heritage) and good views across the estuary with Pendennis Castle (EH) at Falmouth to the west and St. Anthony Head (National Trust) to the South East. I walked back down to the harbour where the ferry from Falmouth lands and another ferry (if on foot) is required to take you to Place on the next section of coast path. The cost of the travel is not cheap with a single from Falmouth to St. Mawes being £6.50 plus another £5.00  from St. Mawes to Place. I did think about buying a portion of chips before I moved on but a small portion costs £2.25 which was a bit over the top I thought. I wasn’t that hungry!

From here, I looked at my road map to work out how to get to the next point so that I could get on with walking. I got to St. Anthony Head and parked the car in the NT car park, put on my walking boots and walked the fairly easy path to Place and back which is around 2 miles each way. St. Anthony Head is full of history from the world wars with many buildings and remains in place which I would like to have explored further if I had time. Some buildings have been converted into N.T. holiday lets. There is also the lighthouse at the point which I had noticed on previous walks from The Lizard peninsula. I decided to do another return walk of the next section to the hidden cove of Portscatho. This was a slightly harder walk but with wonderful views as it goes around headlands with some sandy beaches below and chugging of small boats in the evening calm sea. By the time I got to Portscatho, it was high tide and the village was busy with people heading for an outdoor seat to enjoy a drink and something to eat. I decided it was time to head back to the car before it got too late as I was feeling a bit peckish too. Once back, I got my picnic stove out and heated up some vegetable soup which I enjoyed with a bread roll. It was getting dark now and I hadn’t actually sorted out where I was camping tonight. There was a sign saying ‘No overnight parking’ which I had to take notice of as there were the holiday lets close by and I think the residents were keeping an eye to see if I was leaving soon. I decided it was easier to drive along the lanes and see if I could pitch my tent somewhere but it was quite hard to find somewhere out of the way. Eventually, I just decided to pull over and spend the night in the car. I put the seat down and tried to get comfortable but ended up curling up in the back seat thought it was a cold, long, uncomfortable night.

Todays Fitbit Stats: 28,710 steps. 16.1 miles. 86 floors. 4598 cals burned.

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‘Homeless’ Again

The railway arches in Vauxhall which was home for a night

The railway arches in Vauxhall which was home for a night

After my ‘homeless’ experience in Bristol last November, I decided to try one in London for  ‘The Big Issue Foundation’ (TBIF) last week.

After returning home from the Sidmouth Folkweek, I quickly grabbed a few things including a sleeping bag and headed to Taunton for the 1631 train to London Paddington. This should have been a simple journey with one stop at Reading before arriving at LP at 1820. We arrived at Reading on time and waited for a few minutes before the train manager apologised for the delay but said we would leave shortly. Another few minutes and another apology that we were waiting for a space at LP. 20 minutes passed and we were told our train was terminating and to get onto the train on the adjoining platform which caused a mad rush to get a seat. We all settled into our seats and waited, and waited until guess what? We were told to get back onto the other train! I waited by the door until I knew it was about to leave until eventually, the announcement cam that all trains to Paddington were terminated and the staff admitted they didn’t know what we should do. Perhaps I was going to do my Sleep Out at Reading? I hung around waiting for further instructions until around 7pm when I walked up to the station’s main concourse and was approached by a representative from a charity who was going to try and get me to sign up to something. I pointed out that I was wearing a ‘Big Issue’ t-shirt and was trying to get to London for a charity sleep out. ” Why don’t you catch the train to Waterloo?” he asked. “How do that?” I replied. “Down there on Platform 6. Their running fine.” I thanked him and joined a large line of passengers waiting to board.

The email from TBIF  said to arrive from 7.15 but not later than 8pm. It was already 7.15 and on asking a fellow passenger, she told me we wouldn’t get to Waterloo before 9pm. I chatted with Sylvie who had been on holiday to Pembrokeshire. She spotted my wristband from the Folkweek and is familiar with Halsway Manor having been on residential there. Sylvie lives near Waterloo and also works in a first school. “If you get stuck, you can sleep on my floor or if you want to be outside, I have a balcony.” A kind offer but I was going to try and find this railway arch I should be sleeping in.

We arrived just before 9pm and I went out into the streets and walked towards Vauxhall. My quickly drawn map indicating Lambeth Bridge and Lambeth High Street wasn’t as easy to follow as I had hoped. I was walking back and forth to find the High Street as I had found the bridge fine. I asked one group who didn’t think there was such a place while others looked at me with my Big Issue top, sleeping bag and carrier bag not wanting to engage in conversation! It was now past 10pm and I spoke to a doorman at a pub and explained what I was up to. He said to try the side street next to us which I did to no avail then as I returned back up the street, he had found the location on his phone. A few minutes later, I was in Newport Street where I found some arches all locked up and all very dark. Not the sort of place I wanted to be on my own for too long. I saw a door open and inside, spotted some people in TBIF t-shirts. “This is where I should be!” I said. A security guard let me in and someone went to find Justine who had organised the event. Justine was pleased I had got there having wondered where I’d got to. “You can sleep in the yard or inside the railway arch.” I had been looking forward to the arch so put my sleeping bag down and returned to the room where everyone was gathering for some entertainment. “You’re just in time to buy some raffle tickets before we draw them. £2 each or £10 a strip.” I bought a strip and wrote my name on the reverse. I had missed the discussion where the CEO of TBIF and street vendors had been talking about what they do although I have written about causes of homelessness in my previous article. Family break ups, domestic abuse and financial problems are big causes. Many of you will know the story of former Big Issue vendor James Bowen who, in 2007 while recovering from heroin addiction, found an injured and starving cat curled up on a step. James decided to take the cat to the RSPCA who gave the animal a course of antibiotics which cost £28. This was just about all the money James had. “I’ve always loved cats.” says James.

James lived in sheltered accommodation and had lived a difficult life in Australia. Living rough in London, James had been surrounded by others using drugs and before he knew it, had entered the same world feeling he had nothing to lose.

James committed himself to helping this cat, which he named Bob, back to health and Bob followed him everywhere included hopping onto the bus and sitting on his shoulder. Suddenly, James had people stopping to talk to him and he no longer felt invisible. People would bring gifts and titbits for Bob and stop and chat for a while. This story of how Bob turned James’ life around can be read in a book witten by James titled A Street Cat Named Bob which has sold over three million copies around the world and even translated into over 35 languages. You can also follow him on Facebook at StreetCatBob or on twitter @streetcatbob

Back to the sleep out, the raffle was drawn and first ticket out for a pair of TBIF mugs was announced as “Keith”. “Thank you” said and sat down again while the next ticket was drawn for some tickets to a concert. “Again, that’s Keith!” “Let someone else have a go.” I said. Jane one them this time. In fact, myself and Jane ended up with most of the prizes with myself winning the mugs, a tote bag and case of mixed ales from the East London Brewery Company. Next, we were entertained by the Adam Street Singers. A fabulous group of young people who work across London in The City, hospitals plus tv and film. If you check them out on Google or YouTube, you will see that they get songs and mash them up creating a wonderful sound that makes you smile. If you type in ‘The 19:57 from Euston’ ‘ you will see a video that went viral when one of the members made a marriage proposal.

At the end of the evening, I went back inside the cool and damp railway arch and tucked up inside my sleeping bag. As I lay there, there was a sound and feel of trains thundering in and out of Waterloo with around one a minute until 1am. All was fairly quiet then and I could catch some sleep until 5am when the first trains woke me up. Living in a rural area, I’m lucky enough not to have this life every night though in reality, many homeless people sleeping rough in London will sleep during the day as they feel too vulnerable at night and tend to stay on the move.

After some breakfast and saying goodbye to everyone, I headed off onto the streets of London and along the South Bank to enjoy the early morning views of the river and the city waking up before my journey back home to Somerset.

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