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Sign of the times

He occupies a dead space over the river. He usually sits, crosslegged, on the bridge, which is used to connect spaces rather than being seen as a place in its own right.

A torn blanket curls over his knees and his back presses up hard against the cold, cruel rivets.

He is motionless, an empty fruit can, beyond time, outside the normal quick movement and tempo of the commuters that pass him by. He has skin like brown paper, an envelope, with no stamp and nowhere to go. He is the victim of austerity measures, pay freezes and hikes in VAT.

A hollowed out, peeling, bearded example of what can happen to the government's economic victims.

A sign hangs around his neck: 'GP, I will cure for pennies'.

He used to meet their eyes. But now he only sees their passing feet.

Written in response to the economic changes facing GPs. Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen.

Through the K hole - credit HaPe Gera, Flickr Through the K hole - credit HaPe Gera, Flickr