366 Days of Kindness-Chapter 7 November 2011

November 28th, 2011 by Bernadette



…for those who have just joined me, every day I attempt to do something kind for a total stranger. I’ve been doing it since 18th August 2011 and will attempt to do it for 366 days (being as it’s a leap year next year!!)

My adventures are recorded in words and pictures here. You can request a kindness through the post for a friend by emailing me at Bernadette@thewhiterabbit.org.uk.


Here’s what I’ve been doing:


6th November left a box of goodies on the bench in Deptford Park. I wrote on the lid “This is FREE and it’s for you. It’s your lucky day” went back 10 minutes later and it was gone!!!!!!

7th November feature by the brilliant Flic Everett came out in Daily Express!! Great and lots of encouraging messages. Also lots of requests for postals which I have to get cracking on!! Left some dried flowers and a hand made card on bus. That 47 is a lucky bus, by now. here’s the feature in the Daily Epxress


8th November Today’s package through the post was for Mary Corbett

9th November hid a message with a “wish card” in newsagents

10th November I am at the “are we kind enough?” conference at Somerset House. Lots to think about. Lots of talk about “sustainable kindness”. Outside there were lots of tiny mice running up the stairs. I left my cupcake for the mice, they made me smile. On the way home I passed a soup van and asked if I could help them out. They said they needed blankets and coats so I will go back. Those people, in that van, they are helping people every day without help or publicity or anything. I wish I could be that good. I am not (that good)

11th November today, admittedly I was in a bit of a rush. Quickly made a little note and “make a wish” card for my friend’s husband, who was apparently confused, then pleased by it, which is a good response. But some mutual friends thought he should’ve got chocolate, which is fair enough. He might get another one later in the year. I feel I owe him chocolate!!

12th November tried to visit the old folks home near me, to offer my services. More specifically, I asked the head nurse if she’d like some home made cakes. She was rude rude rude and ended up saying “we can’t except those for health and safety reasons” which may be true but made me feel like an idiot and was horrid. So I gave something else to my neighbours grandson who happened to be hanging out of the window as I came home, a bit blue after the rejection. Ryan was happy. He got smarties. He has The Greatest Hair in South London.

13th November left some cakes outside the Post Office collection office (I like them in there)

14th November got this message from an old friend and it really spurred me on:

Beth Kerslake: Bernadette- you are a truly positive influence on all around you- yesterday I gave my parking ticket to the next person in, ran up a street to give someone their poppy back on their way to church, and I am trying to cook things for children in need. Thank you. Greatly

Today I was in a grump and I didn’t want to be nice to anyone. All I did today was tell this girl that she had a nice hat.

Me: that’s a nice hat (it was)

Her: thanks

Me: (thinking: that wasn’t much of a compliment) you have twinkly eyes. I mean, they’re nice. Sorry, that sounded weird.

Her: No that sounded nice. Twinkly eyes are good

Me: I think so (getting off bus) bye

Her: Bye. I think I live near you.

O blimey. All my neighbours are onto me. I wonder if it will affect property prices/rent???

15th November wrote three secret reviews. I am only writing reviews for things I like, and just keeping quiet about things I don’t. Plus doing it anonymously, so I can’t for obvious reasons, divulge. Which is boring, I know. Plus, in Brighton, as we’re getting ready for the show, I popped to a coffee shop and put some smarties in a woman’s bag!!! These ones really make me laugh! Imagine if I got caught!! What the hell would I say?? We missed Jules at AYSC? But we had the lovely Deb Mead, so all was not lost. Great show, great crowd, great cocktails…

16th November I saw an old man struggling with his bags so I helped him. He said ” you’re just trying to get to know me u crafty cow!” love it! I was still laughing about this three days later!!!!

17th November today I gave away my seat three times, up and down like a yo-yo. Then I carried a buggy up the stairs, and gave the Big Issue seller £2.23 which is what I had left. All day I had been carrying around a book to give somebody but couldn’t find the right person/spot/moment…..

Did a photoshoot at Natural History Museum for woman mag to go with the interview I did for them. I was rubbish and terrified. A man had to help me out on ice and prop me up. The photographer was LOVELY as was the PR lady. I was laughing like a mad man in all of the pictures, due to fear. Was a good laugh though.

18th November left a copy of Great Expectations in the lift at Shoreditch Station

19th November received my own present through the post from Emma Bowkett- lush. Took a bottle of bubbly with me to Windsor as am compering for burly show and thought I could find someone in Windsor. Its children in need so thought about giving it to a teenager!! I know this is wicked but I just imagined how amazing it would be; hanging outside spa waiting for your older mates to go and buy you a can of cider and a total random stranger gives you a bottle of champagne!!!! Anyway, didn’t do that! Gave it to an audience member at almost midnight.

20th November Sent surprise through post to Ian White Wood for as suggested by Judy Barrington-Smuts. Jude met this guy whilst working in Portsmouth. He sounded v nice man, plus he’s from my hometown so it had to be done.

21st November another one through the post as suggested by Sally Reeve Edwards.

22nd November another one through the post as suggested by Lisa Higgins. Then went to watch the Cheek of it! girls’ rehearsals they were excellent and I got scared. I have to be as good as them, and they were brill. My friend Harriet was doing it and I had to give her notes and I felt like Louis Walsh on X Factor as Zoe kept asking for my comments and I just kept saying they were brilliant. But they were.

23rd November Through the post to Eve Lumpy requested by Flic Everett

24th November through the post for Rebecca Tonge — as suggested by  Maggie Gordon-Walker. She FB’d me and said “perfect timing, thank you (and yes, it did make me cry)” xx this was great, I mean not that I made her cry, but that she got back to me. I know I shouldn’t do it for thanks but the encouragement is nice and also knowing that it is something that someone would like. I’d like it but I’m a bit crazy….

25th November neighbours locked themselves out of the house. Took them and the locksmith food. One of the boys said “o yeah, you’re the cake lady” I am getting a reputation locally for being a feeder…also sent something through the post to Claire Poley as requested by Karen Poley… during the Are You Sitting Comfortably show at Toynbee tonight when we were playing pass the parcel as we always do at the end, I threw a prize of chocolate coins at a very nice man and nearly had his eye out. Not so kind….

26th November posted a box to someone who shall remain anonymous, filled with silly gifts and messages. The box leaked glitter all the way to the post office. Went to watch my best mate Christine Entwisle win best director at Underwire Festival. Very proud. For some inexplicable reason I chose to go dressed as the Artful Dodger. Nobody commented.

27th November- on way home after compering Madam Jojos The cheek of it! showcase, it’s 11.40pm and I realised my carefully prepared little box of sweets haven’t been given to anyone. I approach a girl at Eros in Piccadilly Circus whilst Harriet looks after our bags and my ukulele.

Me: hello, would you like this?

Her: No

Me: (a bit surprised) but it’s nice… it’s just a little present

Her: please don’t give me anything, I don’t speak English

Me: it’s a present

Her: I don’t want it.

Me: o. (walks away defeated)

Gave it to the cab driver. He said “you made my day” I expect I did, the cab as £28….

28th November- left a book on the Overground line tube- on way back from meeting with Spitalfields music festival, after finding out the show had sold out. I thought about handing it directly to someone, but am so tired…. Left on a seat, saw a man pick it up… will he keep it??

Tomorrow the piece comes out in Woman mag, I am looking forward to seeing it and also seeing if anyone gets in touch… with requests….or suggestions…..


366 Days of Kindness- Chapter 6 October 2011

November 6th, 2011 by Bernadette

Dear Reader, I am definitely in the swing of it now, with the kindness. I started the postal ones, although I have a bit of a backlog as they take a bit more time. and a lot of glitter. Got interviewed by Flic Everett for the Daily Express about it (in the paper on Monday 7th November) and Woolfson and Tay bookshop and gallery are proposing an exhibition of it August- September next year.

Funny how quickly it has become just a thing I do. I never plan them, but I never forget either. Really enjoyed this month.Here’s the list. Find me on FB if you want daily updates or on Twitter (betterussell). If you have  friend who would like a nice surprise in the post then send me their address Bernadette@thewhiterabbit.org.uk


11th October left an unbirthday present in the phone box near my house. That phone box must be getting quite a reputation.

12th October My birthday! So I was the recipient of much kindliness myself!

Left lush card in national portrait gallery. Saw lady pick it up and smile.

13th October despite a hangover, crept out and left a mysterious yet cheering message outside block of flats

14th October I put a bar of chocolate INSIDE a woman’s bag -is this scary? Illegal? Left a note with it

15th October I went to see Jerusalem for the second time at Apollo Theatre, and met this great man outside, Mark, activist and fellow ark -er, what a top bloke. Gave him money. Bit boring, but he probably needs it.

16th October I sponsored Paul Arvidson he’s cutting his hair off for a very good cause. Now this was the first time I have known the person, so for good measure as it’s sort of breaking my own rules, I left a jar of sweets on the bus.

17th October went to see Grisly Tales from Tumblewater at Wimbledon Theatre, after the show I gave the author  note that promised I would send him a present if he sent me his address- he didn’t respond! I did know the theatre company so he should have known I wasn’t just a nutter! Will try this one again at a later date…

18th October lady who works in newsagent’s next door- took her a cake- didn’t explain too well she looked confused/doubtful!

19th October sent this to Donna Bakewell my first postal #366daysofkindness- nominated by Cindy Townsend

20th October Just took cakes down to St Paul’s protest camp for today #366daysofkindness brill down here good work!

21st October we had a storytelling show at Toynbee- (“Are You Sitting Comfortably? BEAUTY”) Last minute #366daysofkindness to member of audience nominated by Gareth- gave her a fiver. She said she just had her bike nicked so was slight compensation.

22nd October left some sweets on my neighbours step- git caught doing it by the other neighbour. She said “ That’s great, she loves sweets!” Plus received an ARK myself- my friend Cindy sent me an amazing beautiful box of treats!

23rd October Left Paul Auster book on bus. Man said “hey you’ve left your book” I said” I left it on purpose” he said “awesome” and I saw him reading it as bus sailed off. Aw. Great gig with the Cheek of It! at Madam Jojos. All good

24th October Left a book on my front wall (Neil Gaiman The Graveyard Book, and a hardback, peeps!!) Tomorrow must get on with the postal #366!

25th October left a book- beryl Bainbridge every man for himself- in vegan café in Camden after me and my sis finished our Halloween/ wedding shopping.

26th October second postal #366- a magic box containing: a fir cone I picked on the beach at Crear in the Highlands, lovehearts, Parma violets, a balloon, a party popper, a shell, dice dares, chocs, feathers, glitter etc. To Phillippa Lawrence nominated by Alex Alderton.

27th October took a load of cakes down to my favourite charity shop in Deptford- home made cupcakes left over from our show

28th October Lucky Penny- given to a bemused John Osborne after I had seen his (great) show” John Peel’s Shed” at Jackson’s Lane

29th October Dare Dice- given to Fran from Woolfson and Tay gallery in Bermondsey square who I had just met. She wants to do an exhibition of my 366 days of kindness in August! Yay!

30th October Left “Alice In Wonderland” and a note in the Ladies loos at the White Horse pub in Hatfield, where we were having our dinner-before- sister’s- big- day.

31st October My sis got married today- in fabulous Halloween style! I left a basket called Trick or Treat in the honeymoon suite! Also put a trick or treat bag in a strangers bag! (These are the tough ones, sneaking into someone’s bag- how would I explain myself? I am a reverse pickpocket?!)

1st November lottery ticket and note left in Soho after seeing my friend Henry Bouquet’s photography exhibition at Adam Street. I picked man who had an eccentric and sensational jacket on. He deserved it.

2nd November Box of cakes to Emma, who I just met on a photo shoot for Daily Express (they interviewed me about this foolish endeavour!!!!)

3rd November a book of Xmas ghost stories to a man I met on the bus Andy Rees. (Anne Perry – A Christmas Odyssey)

4th November box of sweets left on my front wall. Gone 20 minutes later! Note saying please take me!

5th November magic box to Donna Lowe nominated by Liz Hawkins. Containing: lucky penny, rubber duck, rose bath bomb, body lotion, heart balloon, Scooby Doo fizzy sweets, chocolates, glitter, feathers, a wish…..

Today is 6th November- it’s a quarter past 2, what will I do? xx