With winter upon us it becomes harder to ignore the homeless. Where do they go, the people we see, or try not to see, lying in urban alcoves or parks, wrapped in all their ragged possessions, not looking at us either.

They blank us out of their world as effectively as we blank them. They are not beggars, and most beggars are not homeless we're told. Rough sleepers appear to want nothing but to be left alone and be invisible.

Very occasionally an intrepid newspaper reporter will get alongside them. One who did so was Tony Wall who, years