Smurf, Pinstone Street, Sheffield

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The last time we spoke, two years ago, you had two dogs. Now you only have one with you. What happened?
Well, Woof has grown up a bit since then. The problem with him is he’s a mastiff cross, and his mastiff side has now come out. That means all he wants to do is guard and protect things and he’s a big dog. So I’ve trained him to stay in my truck and guard it, which means me and my other dog Luna get a peaceful morning without him trying to over-protect me. He’s great with people but he’s not good with other dogs so it’s better he stays there.

‘I’ve never worried where I am going next. The universe will provide’

Where are you living now?
I was in a caravan when we last spoke but a friend on the traveller site I’m on said he had a seven and a half tonne horsebox which he was selling. I couldn’t afford to buy it outright, because my only income is selling the magazine, but he let me pay it off in instalments. I worked really hard to do that and managed to pay half of it weekly and then another friend heard what I was doing and helped me pay for it as well. It’s fully kitted out and a great place to live in.

How are things on the traveller site? 
We just found out we are getting evicted because the council want to redevelop the land. We’ll see how long we get before we have to go and if the council are told that they have to find us somewhere else, which they are duty bound to do by law, but they don’t seem to want to play by the rules at the moment. Still, it makes life exciting. It’s an adventure!

Aren’t you worried about where you are going to end up?
I’ve never been worried about where I am going next. There are other places that we are looking at, and something will turn up. The universe will provide.

Have you always been this optimistic? 
No. I had to complete rebuild my psyche when I was about 18. I grew up really screwed up, really troubled. I spent years rebuilding myself.

What was the cause of your problems, do you think?
Oh, that was my dad. It was all down to him, from when I was about three until he kicked me out when I was 18. He had problems, big problems. He was a violent alcoholic and a copper. He was always throwing me in the cells! He was a very aggressive and psychologically abusive man. It’s all right though – it’s all in the past. Everything I have been through is part of what’s made me who I am. I mean, the shit is always there, but I just focus on the positives and take what I can out of it and build my life from that.

Do you have any plans?
Yes – to enjoy life to the max. I want to take the best out of every situation I can and be the best person I possibly can in every situation and just enjoy life, because life is too short to be worried and miserable.

Do you still enjoy selling Big Issue North?
I love selling the magazine. Some days are better than others obviously. One day I sold out of magazines in an hour and another I stood here all day and made £3. Still, I got to chat to nice people and enjoy the sunshine.

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you so much for being you.

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