Last summer a woman nervously approached me while I ate a cheeseburger in McDonalds near The British Library to ask for the tokens attached to my coffee cup so that she could get a free coffee and then I watched her fill it with as many free sachets of sugar as was required to achieve an intake of calories that might sustain her life for one more day – a sugar-sachet black market that casts a long shadow on London’s status as a gastronomic destination. I have seen queues outside food banks and the arrival of food donation boxes outside supermarkets. The government allows effective starvation to proliferate without lifting a finger. The streets of the city no longer acknowledge the perpetual motion of the gut and the bladder that is part of every human life. The Victorians knew about guts even if they didn’t know about women having the vote, and their underground lavatories have become coffee shops with no lavatories. A moving moment of hospitality (xenia) that I experienced recently, happened after I knocked on the door of the cleaning attendant for the public lavatory in Peterborough; he released the barrier for me without question, even though I did not have the necessary 20p. Such moments of resistance are reassuring and suggest the will for a different situation to the impoverishment of municipal hospitality that increasingly defines public space.