#366daysofkindness Chapter 8 December 2011

January 5th, 2012 by Bernadette

Hello all, remember to email me if you know someone who needs something nice through the post. PLUS, on Valentine’s Day I am posting and hand-delivering 100 homemade cards. Let me know if you know anyone that would need one or if you’d like to do it with me…

 

Things I learnt this month:

 

It’s harder to be kind with a headache (either a “naturally occurring” or “brought on by excess of cheese” headache)

 

Some days strangers are scary, some days they’re not. Some days they’re interesting and intriguing. Depends on what side of the bed I woke up on.

 

It’s easier for people to accept kindness from you if you do it with an open heart. By that I mean: I noticed that when I am doing it because I’m in a “I have to do this but I’m not in the mood and that girl on the bus just gave me evils and I’m dying to go to the toilet and I’ve eaten too much cheese again…”etc, well, those days, with those thoughts in my head people are much less likely to respond favourably to my approaches, even if I am approaching with flowers/chocolate/ or on one memorable occasion, champagne. So I have to kind of get my mojo up, and approach with genuine warmth and openness, compassion etc. Then it nearly always elicits a favourable response. This is my experience from being on the frontline of kindness…

 

On blue days, on days when the relentless misery of battleship grey sky and grumpy colleagues, and aggressive cyclists, and not-much-moneyness, on these days I was unfailingly cheered by being nice to someone. I’d recommend it. It cheers you up, if you need it. If you don’t need it, it fills you with love and optimism. I don’t care if I sound like a soppy idiot. It’s true.

 

(I have had two glasses of semi flat champagne left over from Boxing Day, but I hope I am making sense.)

 

Here’s what I did:

 

29th November. I sent a card to Dawn King’s friend through the post. Now my craft supplies are getting a bit thinner due to excessive card making. This is a good thing. They take up more room than my clothes, and that is saying something. Dawn King’s friend name was Rachel Bollen from Newcastle and her two cats were called Olive and Mr Oblong. These are the greatest cat names I have ever heard. I hope I’ll meet all three of them one day.

 

30th November First day on project in Portsmouth with Wet Picnic. Met this lovely waiter in Gun Wharf who was working 9 am-1am. With a one-hour break. I gave him a card.

 

1st December Donated to national aids trust.

 

2nd December Whilst in Portsmouth, I am staying in a hotel next to the road I lived in when I was 17 (Shaftesbury Avenue). Tonight I’m gonna leave a note and a present outside the front door. I started pondering on how great it would be if through a fluke of physics/tear in the space-time continuum, 17 year old me got it. But I don’t remember so I probably won’t/didn’t.

 

3rd December found a lovely lady in the pub to give something to today. She was a ray of sunshine. I don’t think she was drunk, more naturally effervescent.

 

4th December I bought Pat (who I met today and is 80 years young) a cheese and ham sandwich and a cuppa as she was a bit peckish. 
She went home before I could
 get a picture of her.

 

5th December Hee Hee! Left surprise in Canada Water library. It was quite tricking choosing the right section to place it in- self-help? Romance? Teen fiction? In the end I chose at random

 

6th December Van Demal asked me to send something to his friend who is having a very difficult time. Sent it.

 

7th December Left on the jubilee line the great book  “When God was a Rabbit” with a small note

 

8th December another postal surprise for the daughter of a friend of mine who is having a hard time.

 

9th December went to a séance in Stoke Newington, a show in progress (which was great) and I gave my friend Heather Uprichard a card to deliver randomly to someone at the party she was going to I got this message back from the recipient “I got this and made me so happy! I still haven’t slept with the card under my pillow: really thinking of what I truly wish for first… thank you Bernadette :-) xs” Nice.

 

10th December Made a donation to Scene and Heard a charity a couple of my friends are involved in, a theatre project for children in Somers Town who work with professional actors on their own plays.

 

11th December Christmas card to random neighbours I have never met.

 

12th December Left in Spitalfields after rehearsal for our project with the music festival- Xmas card and golden coin

 

13th December Edwin. My new friend on bus. Because someone reminded me that just chatting to a stranger and sharing tips about hats is a good thing to do.

 

14th December ‎24 cupcakes delivered to SE Herts CATT team via my sister. Cakes were left over from the show yesterday.

 

15th December Gave a busker at Hampstead a massive bar of dairy milk Hopefully he’ll be so busy eating he will stop playing for a bit 😉 (When accordions are bad they are awful)

 

16th December Just did a strange and slightly creepy but great review. This “reviewer” is taking on a life of her own….

 

17th December Brilliant show with the musicians from Spitalfields Music Festival. Remembered after show I hadn’t delivered the card I’d prepared to anyone, so one of the musicians Alice, delivered it to her flat mate in the nick of time

 

18th December Christmas card to stranger left at Paddington Station

 

19th December Today sent something through the post to Morgan Nichols as recommended by Louise Halvardson

 

20th December Sent through the post to Yvonne Thornton as suggested by Rebecca Cubbit

 

21st December Today sent a card via Tina Moran for her daughter who I heard was a bit blue

 

22nd December Today delivered goodies to Jacksons Lane for Xmas day old folks party. Loads of people contributed to this sack of goodies including Sophie Donnelly, Kate Bohdanowicz, and  Caroline Jowett.

 

23rd December I gave a Xmas card and chocolate to my friend Stephan to give to his girlfriend who I have never met (she emailed me, this is always really nice, mainly as it’s great to know that it is nice to receive things)

 

24th December Met this really nice lady at Paddington station with her cute dog and gave her a Christmas card.

 

25th December donated to Centrepoint for homeless young people

 

26th December Secret 5* review. Well anonymous, secret would be pointless

 

27th December Left a Happy New Year card on the stage for someone to pick up after seeing the brilliant Colour of Magic by Forkbeard Fantasy at Southbank

 

28th December another review. No one so far has guessed it’s me.

 

29th December A little silver box full of silver coins I left on the tube, as a kind of voodoo money spell, but I couldn’t take a pic as I forgot my phone. The day has been strangely peaceful…

 

30th December Matt at the Mayflower- today’s recipient Met him the day before and he is a long way from home and its Christmas he said “ thanks for the card” (I had forgotten) I had a shit Christmas and I had no family here and I loved it”

 

31st December Planned to give this card and sparkler to someone in the vicinity of Surrey Docks at midnight…. instead I found a house party that sounded pretty lively and left my surprise in the doorway… did it get found?

 

1st Jan 2012-I just found out that I was the inspiration for a church talk in Edgbaston, Birmingham, my mate James Yarker’s church. I am really chuffed. He sent me a picture of a big picture of me in church. Possibly the most surprising thing that has ever happened to me. Brilliant and flabbergasting. Then my friend Lucinda Townsend told me this “and I forgot to tell you that you were the subject of my 12-year-old son Elliot’s philosophy lesson before Christmas! They were asked to do something kind for someone every day for a week and keep a record – so I emailed the teacher about you and your Random Acts ;-)”

Today I tried to go out with a small gift for someone but I am too utterly broken (in a good way) instead wrote another glowing review for someone most deserving and saved today’s gift for tomorrow

 

2nd Jan 2012 Gave this very sweet lady at the Greenwich Playhouse a little Happy New Year card and general message of encouragement. She nice. Watched Sherlock Holmes 2. Liked it.

 

3rd Jan 2012 Just gave this man sitting on London Bridge in freezing cold £2 all I had he looked so miserable and was so nice. Gonna look for him tomorrow see if he wants to get some food with me. It’s 2012, the Charles Dickens bicentenary and I was thinking for how many hundreds of years has someone sat on that spot over the river, hungry and asking for a bit of change? Plus ca change, and all that. I’m sure Germaine Greer took a homeless man under her wing??? I can’t do that, I’m too scaredy cat but I can take him for lunch. Will report back

 

4th Jan Couldn’t find him. Will look. Put a lottery ticket in a golden envelope and delivered to a house on my street. This is always nerve racking!!

 

 

Love Bernadette xxxx

 

 

3 comments

  1. January 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

    You are a star all shiny x

  2. hello and thankyou! I know the pictures are a bit confusing, more to give you a taste of what I have been up to! I am doing an exhibition later in the year which will explain more clearly (I hope) thanks for reading! xx

  3. your project is utterly insane and beautiful
    i hope more people would of been more like you!

    interesting to read although i didn’t really understand who’s what the pictures (:

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