At the beginning of the 21st Century when I rather naively set about looking for a cheap one bedroom flat in Tottenham. I remember visiting Star Estates on West Green Road, who took me around the back of their building into a courtyard, across which was strewn old bits of carpet and masonry. At the back of the courtyard, with a beautiful view of said detritus, were what I can only describe as a concrete shelter, which had been divided into two or three flats and bedsits.
The bedsit offered to me, the roof of which you can see at the top of the abovementioned picture, covered by foliage, was glum inside. A family clearly lived in it, as there were children’s toys on the floor, next to the mattress, which sat on the floor. There was a leaking roof. The window of the bedsit faced a wall, which jutted out from the concrete shelter, and met the bedsit at an acute angle, meaning that there was a permanent gloom in the room. I was plagued by demons as I considered not just me living there but that a family actually did live there, and I considered the enormous personal and emotional resources that one would need to avoid falling into a pit of despair to match the physical pit of despair that was being rented out at about four to give hundred pounds a month.