JO: What’s your experience of it? Is it … because you work .. you are from Wolverhampton but you don’t … where do you live now?

V: No, I still live in Wolverhampton. I commute into work.

JO: So, you see it as a worker mostly.

V: As a … from … from commuting, yes.

JO: and what do you see? What kind of stuff ?

V: lots of … lots of homeless people. A hell of a lot. A lot more, I’ve noticed, this year. More than any other year.

JO: apparently there is an acceleration in homelessness.

V: most definitely.

JO: why do you think that is going on?

V: I do think it’s the cost of living going up and wages aren’t.

JO: yes.

V: simple things… such as fuel, gas, petrol … just basic living.

JO: just the basics …

V: gone up a hell of a lot.

JO: but these guys aren’t necessarily working, are they ?

V: I wouldn’t say so, no.

JO: So, they’ve just fallen through the gaps.

V: yes.

JO: It’s desperately sad.

V: Most definitely.

JO: Looking at the other end of the spectrum. Who do you notice … you work on a floor which is probably frequented by people with a little bit of disposable income … because perfume is quite dear, isn’t it, and makeup, and so on….

V: [ ] has products … beauty products for £20 – a lipstick – or you can have products in excess of £200 for a face cream … to a thousand pounds ..

JO: for a face cream.

V: so, it’s quite diverse.

058 WM Birmingham Paul

JO: people still spend a fair amount of money on …

V: yes, people are still spending

JO: hence the staff levels in here. There are a lot of staff, aren’t there?

V: a lot of staff.

JO: ok, I’m going to go and have a look. Last thing is I’m going to challenge you a bit because the theme of my project is called Decency and Survival. I’m … it’s… I’m really trying to do three things which is to analyse where we are … what’s the situation we are all in … and I’m thinking about the way we live in relation to the Earth and what’s happening to the climate system and all the rest of it … work out where we need to go … how do we need to change it .. what needs to change … and then figure out how. How can people like us change it because people in power are obviously not interested.

V: No. Not at all.

JO: they quite like it like this.

V: and the gap is very wide ….

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