Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What You Do Shapes What You See

It’s interesting how what you do effects what you see.

Crookes is a traditional, predominantly working class, community; essentially a village within the city (as so many parts of Sheffield, divided up as it is by hills and valleys, are). The ‘traditional’ community is an aging one. But its proximity to the University means that Crookes is also full of students for nine months of the year; and of those who graduated perhaps over ten years ago and stayed on, marrying and having children (today’s graduates can’t afford to buy here now).

Although I’ve lived in Sheffield since 1991, I’ve only lived in Crookes since the start of this year. In the past I have worked in Crookes, for the church, and predominantly with students; and now I’m working in Crookes again, at a sheltered accommodation for adults with Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida.

My current job brings me into regular contact with Sheffield City Council homecare workers, who come out to elderly or disabled people in their own homes, to help them wash and dress, and do their shopping. And as I walk to and from work along the main street, Crookes seems to be crawling with homecare workers, in their blue tunics, going about their business like ants on a leaf-pile. They will have been there before, but then I didn’t see them; now, every way I turn, they’re there. What you do effects what you see – and what you don’t see.

What do you do? What do you see? What don’t you see, right there before your eyes?


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