Read the article and answer the questions. Camden is one of the coolest and liveliest parts of London. Every weekend thousands of tourists and home-grown Londoners cram Camden High Street to root out a bargain in one of the trendy shops or enjoy a leisurely meal in a fashionable bistro or pub. This area attracts the artistic and the eccentric and is also a favourite haunt for lonely street people. Tramps and homeless people shuffle along Camden High Street with sleeping bags strapped to their backs. It is difficult to tell who is who in the streets of Camden. All life seems to be going about its business not bothering about the person standing in the doorway or the old man shuffling along with his dog. Camden is the home of popular English writer Alan Bennett. In his short book and stage play The Lady in the Van, Bennett tells the story of the odd relationship between himself and Miss Shepherd, an old lady who lives on the streets. Miss Shepherd was an eccentric tramp who came into Bennett's life by chance and stayed there for almost 20years. Bennett first came across Miss Shepherd in the late 1960s. She lived in a ramshackle van parked in one of Camden's side streets. A tall, gaunt figure dressed in a dirty coat and skirt with a cloth bonnet pulled over her head, she strode through Camden, but no one knew where she went or where she had come from. The residents stepped to one side when they saw her striding along the pavement. It was best to avoid Miss Shepherd when you saw her coming. Sometimes, her van moved and Bennett noticed that it seemed to be getting closer to his home - Miss Shepherd seemed to be homing in on him and he couldn't figure out why. Perhaps it was only a coincidence. One morning, Miss Shepherd's broken-down van was parked outside Bennett's home. But after the van was vandalised, Bennett took pity on the old lady and invited her to move her home into his driveway. This was meant as a temporary measure until the council's social workers made other arrangements. But Miss Shepherd and her van remained in Bennett's driveway for almost 20 years until her death in 1989. Repeated attempts to move her into a safe home always failed. She was a cantankerous eccentric whose personal hygiene was non-existent and who lived in a refuse tip on wheels. Miss Shepherd and Bennett were a very odd couple, but once she had moved into his driveway there was no getting rid of her. Bennett had taken on a tenant from the shadows and there was no turning back. Questions 1. Camden is an area in which English city? 2. How would you describe its character? 3. Who is Alan Bennett? 4. What is a tramp? 5. What is the name of the eccentric tramp who made her home in Bennett's driveway? 6. Why did Bennett allow her to live there? 7. How long did her van remain parked on his property? 8. When did she die? You can read the full story of Alan Bennett and Miss Shepherd in Bennett's short book The Lady in the Van (ISBN 1 86197 122 2). Answers 1. Camden is an area of London. 2. It is lively and trendy. 3. Alan Bennett is a popular English writer. 4. A tramp is a homeless person who lives on the streets. 5. Miss Shepherd. 6. Because he felt sorry for her. 7. Miss Shepherd lived in a van parked on Bennett's drive for almost 20 years. 8. She died in 1989.