366 Days Of Kindness-Chapter 1 Introduction and beginnings

August 22nd, 2011 by Bernadette

it started on August 18th 2011

So, a few days ago, I was in the Post Office to send off an application for a job that I really really want (that is not relevant to this tale, but I am using what I call “typing voodoo”, whereby if you type your wish whilst having desparate thoughts, you wish may come true. “typing voodoo” has never worked, but it’s still in development).

I was thinking about the riots, and how scary it was, and about what the hell I would do if I was leaving school now, and how I generally wouldn’t stand a chance if I had to compete against anyone now as every one has a PHD in everything, and how come young people got the blame when looks like everyone was filling their pockets in Footlocker/Dixons/Hennes, and how sorry I felt for London and if there was a break down in civilisation how long would it take before I went totally insane/started eating meat and people/forgot how to speak; in other words all that stuff that everyone was thinking in the madness of early August. There was a young man in the queue in front of me, I reckon 15, and he was explaining politely (reader: I report faithfully, he was polite!) that he didn’t have any money for his letter as he thought it was freepost. I saw it was to DVLA. As he walked past I said “I’ll pay for your stamp” I didn’t even know I was gonna say it but I did. He said “Thanks” and then we stood in slightly awkward silence waiting for the Post Office man to be ready to help us. That was that. Bought his stamp, he said thanks and bye. It was such a buzz. Obviously I do do things from time to time that are kind, to strangers and familiars (I don’t mean familiars like cats to witches, I mean people I know and am familiar with, obvs)

Later that day, I took my second chance to be nice to a stranger. A girl sat next to me on the 47 bus and her friend sat on her lap, and I said “have my seat” she said “no, you’re alright” and I said “it’s ok, I am getting off in a minute” so I got up. Then she said “you better find somewhere else to rest your eye, else I’m gonna cut you” O. Nutter. She then started threatening everyone on the bus, and shouting that she wasn’t in the mood for it. The girl she was sitting on fell asleep, obviously used to/bored by random threats of violence. Weird. I got off the bus sharpish, gutted that my second kindness of the day had been so rebuffed. But luckily she hadn’t cut me, so it all worked out in the end.

I got home and decided to commit to this kindness malarkey. Gareth said I needed a hobby so this is it.

This is wot I have done so far.There will be 366, as 2012 is a leap year.

August 19th Sponsored a stranger for their run (anonymously). Tried to send £5 to Maurice Reeves but can’t find how. Must just go to Croydon.

August 20th I have hidden £5 in a book in Waterstones in Greenwich with a note saying “enjoy”. This proved a firm favourite, so might be repeated.

August 21st Gave a stranger at the busstop a packet of lovehearts. bit embarrassed.

August 22nd TODAY! Left a packet of liquorice allsorts in a phone box in Shoreditch with a note saying “eat me” for. Although, not that kind if you’re diabetic, or don’t like liquorice. o well…

Need to find more cheap/free ways of doing it. Also would like to be more daring. Anyone want to dare me? I am keeping a record here, on facebook, and twitter  (betterussell) . Plus please join me. I think it’s ok to do it to people you know, so long as they don’t know it’s you, if you live somewhere small where everyone knows you like my mate Damon Shaw. I have tomorrow’s planned.


  1. Totally love what you are doing!!!

  2. Ooh, keep it up! If any city in the world needs random acts of kindness, it’s London. (Alas, having your kindness repaid with random acts of threatened violence sounds all too familiar too!) You might like this video featuring randomly offered cupcakes: http://www.babelgum.com/5000303/the-great-cake-escape.html Enjoy! :-)

  3. Good for you, B! There’s a whole movement of this started by Danny Wallace called “Join Me”. Google it – he’s got lots of suggestions for things to do, and a book on it and all sorts.
    In the meantime, how about – leaving change in a phone box / parking meter; buying flowers for someone; sponsor someone you don’t know on Justgiving; buy someone a pint; give a beggar a sandwich…

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