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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    UK - "Rag Lady of Chiswick" now doubly homeless as workers raze her garden shelter

    Quite sad. Yet Miss Naysmith herself is life-affirming.

    Transport for London razes homeless woman's shelter (Guardian)
    Perhaps to some it was a bit of an eyesore: a makeshift shelter carved out of bushes and small trees in the corner of a car park at the foot of a London underground embankment.

    But for Anne Naysmith, a former concert pianist who has lived on these streets for more than 30 years (most of them in a battered old car), it was a kind of home.
    Now the camp lies in tatters after workmen hacked back the vegetation that offered Miss Naysmith – as everyone knows her – a little protection against the elements and cut down her beloved cherry and plum trees.
    Despite her troubles, Naysmith did not change her routine on Thursday.
    By the afternoon she was in her devastated garden, huddled under an umbrella that a thoughtful neighbour had provided and vowing to rebuild.
    much more at link above

    Daily Mail has the story as well, with more pictures, of course:

    Ex-concert pianist who has lived under a hedge in a car park in affluent London
    borough for ten years is furious after shelter is removed by 'wanton and wicked' council

    Miss Naysmith once played at Wigmore Hall in central London and was tipped to be one of the greatest pianists of her generation.
    Aged 39, she began sleeping in her blue Ford Consul in echoes of Miss Shepherd from the Alan Bennett play The Lady in the Van.
    Her day normally begins when she wakes at her shelter, washes in public toilets and cleans her clothes with a hosepipe at a petrol station. They are wrapped in newspaper to dry.

    She spends her mornings wandering among shops picking rubbish from bins to feed herself and the pigeons.

    She regularly listens in on court cases, indulging an interest in law held since childhood. Once a week she immerses herself in books and scores at Barbican music library - her only concession to her former life, of which she refuses to speak.
    much more, with a sidebar about Miss Shepherd, the subject for Alan Bennet's play - also released in essay form, which I've read - at link above

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Freedom is an illusion as Miss Naysmith keeps on finding out; all must conform. Life wasn't always like that, nor should it be.

    Where I live, in PA, there was a homeless man who camped in a small space for years. Finally he was found dead there, but I believe he lived and died the way he wanted to. God forbid anyone should be an eyesore. God forgive us all who can't think beyond the end of our ever-busy noses.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Georgia -- Redneck Country
    Odd thing is she has money. Sounds like even if someone tried to help her buy a small piece of land she probably wouldn't go along with it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Around here somewhere
    This actually made me tear up, and that, my friends, is rare. I don't care what her motivation is for living like this, I just hope that she can eventually find peace, wherever and whatever that may be for her.
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.

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