I read the slogan from the top of a bus going into town. The Co-op in London Road had just closed and people were sleeping under the arcade.
Behind a tent and abandoned duvet, through the rain, PLEASE BELIEVE THESE DAYS WILL PASS was like kindness from a stranger - a message to those people sleeping rough, to anyone passing by, to people going to and from work, driving into and out of town. The Tories were still celebrating, I think, but maybe my memory's playing tricks.
Contractors have since boarded up that space in front of the Co-op. It's going over to students, like the other Co-op department store in London Road, like the old people's home at the bottom of my road, like the giant skywards newbuilds on Lewes Road.
And it's hard to believe in change in our Brighton and Hove bubble, where although we are green and red, politically, actually within the city it seems that every centimetre of land is monetised and open to abuse, every service privatised, and if you are a free-roaming member of the public (as opposed to a tourist bringing cash in) you are the enemy.
I for one need more of this beautiful slogan because as well as kindness, it made me think about the great historical changes we've seen and that yes, hard times do pass. And next to it more encouragement, not pressing anyone, just allowing the act to stand on its own, THE COURAGE TO SAY NO.
So much works against that courage - an assumption that if you refuse anything you will be punished, built on from childhood, fostered by all those little cards placed in windows - abuse will not be tolerated.
I don't know who made these posters but they make me want to buy wallpaper paste and do some printing.
Like Led by Donkeys, intervening with simple and powerful messages on public buildings, I thank and respect these anonymous spreaders of optimism, as I thank the poets, musicians, painters and photographers who are documenting, in their own media, these difficult days and how to say no.