Wednesday, April 06, 2005

squatters' rights 2

The house over the road has got a little more colourful. On Sunday morning as we were getting ready go to church, two of the inhabitants were setting out an array of cuddly toys and other paraphernalia on the walls and window sills and a man in a dress with a guitar was singing drunkenly. We went and said hello and were told that the house had been bought by a German charity and it was going to become some sort of hostel or workshop for artists or drug addicts, depending on which bit of the slightly confused story you listened to. The man in the dress mentioned the drug addicts, which I think his companion realised might not go down very well since she was the one talking about a charity and artists.

Leaving aside whether they really have bought the house, (they originally got in round the back and I haven't actually seen them use the front door yet), I'm intrigued by the 'artists' story. It could be true, but part of me wonders whether these guys are using it as a tag to make the rest of the street feel less threatened. Calling yourself an artist could be a way to make otherwise non-conventional behaviour seem more acceptable. Most people would probably rather have an artistic community on their doorstep than a hostel for drug addicts, even though they might see the need for the latter.

So far, apart from the original breaking-in, there's been nothing to frighten anyone. This could be the beginning of a new artistic movement or a terrible nuisance or neither. I'm intrigued. What next?

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