Alexandru, Aldi, Southport

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 29 years old and I am from Romania originally. I have sold Big Issue North for around seven years now on and off. 

How has 2022 been for you?
It has been a strange and difficult year. I got married this year. She is a very lovely woman, my wife, but she has not been very well recently and that has been very hard. 

What’s been wrong?
She was pregnant and then she lost a baby. It was very difficult, very sad. I had to look after her a lot. And it has caused me some problems because I have had to change my pitch a few times which meant losing my customers and starting all over again. But my wife is better now. She is with me here in the UK and that is good. 

Where did you meet?
We met in Romania. I call her my wife but we’re not officially married. We say, in the Roma community, that we are married although it is not legal with paperwork at the moment. I have been married before, but we divorced a long time ago. 

What are your plans for Christmas?
I will be in Liverpool with my wife and the rest of my family. I have two children from my previous relationship. They are seven and nine. Their mother lives in Romania but they live here with me. But things have been very hard recently. The cost of living is rising and it is very difficult to keep making money so we won’t be having a big Xmas. We will just do what we can to have a good time and be happy. 

What makes you happy?
I love to sing! I sing all of the time when I am at home. It was always my dream to be a singer. 

What are your plans for 2023?
Well after Christmas I am going to go to Romania because I am not very well and need an operation on my leg. After that, I do not know. I would like to find a different job next year which is more secure, but we will see. Selling the magazine is very difficult at the moment. 

Do you have a message for your customers?
I wish you all the best and I hope that next year will be better for everyone. 

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