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Is it OK if someone wants to live for years on a bench? (BBC News Online)

In 2017, freelance writer Tom de Castella noticed an elderly woman and her son living on a bench in south London. He discovered they had already been there for two years… which was puzzling. Why hadn't anyone done anything to help them? Why did everyone accept it as normal? The more he investigated, the stranger it seemed. A large bulky object wrapped in a bright blue tarpaulin. It is sitting in the middle of the pavement. It could be an old piano, maintenance equipment, a delivery waiting to be unpacked. But then the tarpaulin starts to move, an arm appears

Culture, Featured|

Confessions of an Uber driver (The Times)

In a few hours I will feel elated. Then despairing. But at 11am, as I pull out of my south London street in a Toyota Auris estate, I am trying to feel calm. It’s a new career. I’m about to start my first shift as an Uber driver. You don’t join Uber for a laugh, or even a feature in a Saturday magazine. It has taken me six months and £550 in admin costs to get here. There are criminal record checks, medicals, training in how to navigate using the London A-Z – there’s no GPS in sight during training.

Culture, Featured, Travel|

Life goes on? (Independent on Sunday)

Up close it looks like a normal, if rather high-powered, literary event. We're in the hall of the British Library. On stage is Mark Lawson, the nation's undisputed master of cultural ceremonies, holding aloft a new book and chatting breezily to the thirtysomething celebrity author sitting alongside him.

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The first anarchic free schools (BBC News Online)

In the 1970s, idealistic young activists created a wave of experimental schools - no compulsory lessons, no timetables, no rules. So what happened to the kids who attended these free-for-alls? You wait an age for the green man to let you cross Liverpool's Scotland Road.

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