• The Kids

    The kids killed me. Or more accurately, I was killing them, what with my loving embrace of market forces. We can’t blame anyone else for the way that we humans organise our affairs – the fish didn’t do it; the tigers from their cages didn’t do it; and the kindly cows in their stalls didn’t do it either

    One girl’s family lived beneath a fly over, on a patch of cement that was lodged between six lanes of traffic, not counting the ones above. They had a low tarpaulin for cover and a fire that flickered for a kitchen, and all the while the angry traffic kept up a murderous assault.


    The boys’ matching outfits made me happy, and had me thinking of them as partners in crime, so to speak. I don’t think that they were brothers, but more like cousins. The boy on the left was rather bold and adventuresome, whereas his companion was shy, and more measured in his movements, bringing to mind a cautious old man, gingerly stepping through life.


    Now back in London, I wonder where they all are. Some of them, no doubt, still haven’t any shoes. Others will still have nothing but rags. Others are still begging. And others still, won’t make their prime.

    Rubbish Sorters

    Close to the landfill which, from a distance, I’d mistaken for a mountain, the workers sorted, ground, cleaned, cut & recycled. Hour after hour. It was so so hot inside the sheds and lean-tos: reality blurred, & the air burned.

    I never found out why there were no old people working here. It was a little too obvious to ask, what with the heat & the worker’s long hours, both strung out along the long, dry, dusty road, in the shadow of the landfill, like beads on a necklace. It was obvious that they were on a deadline, and I didn’t want to delay them.


    Collectively we all produce 1.3 billion tons of rubbish each year, while only 9% of plastic is recycled. Plastic waste is found in all habitats world wide, and recent research shows that it’s even present in human placentas.


    The world’s population is increasing, as is the need to recycle but the human cost, particularly in the developing world which also imports a lot of waste from the developed world to generate revenue, is very high.