#366daysofkindness Chapter 11 March 2012

April 22nd, 2012 by Bernadette


22nd March 2012.Today was the wonderful crazy London Marathon. I had put out a call for anyone who wanted a banner made, so we made loads and as a result couldn’t see out of the windows! Amazing day as usual, not so many pics as have lost cable for camera… to come. We blew up 50 balloons, gave out biscuits (300) sweets (20 bags) showers and encouragement. I cried. I’ve lived on the 8 mile mark of route for 13 years and see it as my New Year. All of London is kind, and it is amazing.

Quotes of the day:

“We have no sweets left but we do have toliet roll and champagne”
“Welcome to the ghetto! We have custard creams! that is not a euphemism”
“These are the last flumps in SE London”

our house on Marathon Day


What I have been doing the last..ahem… while.. for #366daysofkindness, in diary and pics.(IF IT IS TOO LONG-SKIP TO PICS BELOW!!!)


March 5th Decided  to be a fairy godmother all week. Today  read and reviewed Sylvia Petter’s short story “An Imaginary Friend” So brilliant. Today was in the studio doing a bit of admin, and I listened to the Archers  for the very first time (I know shame on me, I know, I know) and acts of random kindness were their lent challenge! Everyone’s at it, even made up people on Radio 4.

March 6th “Fairygodmother” delivered some treats to The Waiting Room cafe staff in Deptford. They make the best flat white IN THE WORLD. Wondered if I should have a costume???

March 7th  Salvation Army Charity shop – donated a load of books. I noticed one of the books is called “The Pornographer of Vienna” and hoped the nice religious man didn’t think I was peddling filth…he didn’t seem to care

This message from Stewart Whoo made me very happy “As a recipient of one of your artworks, just want to thank you…and say it was successful. Quite emotional, shocking, bizarre and beautiful to get something so lovely out of the blue and with no reason. Truly magical. ”


March 8th  REVERSE MUGGING! Bought a lottery ticket put it in a gold envelope, to attempt to put in someone’s bag on the sly tonight at Deadly Dames Re write. Great night with Pulp Press and For Book’s Sake at Deptford Lounge , although slightly embarrassed at reading such a extremely rude story aloud in a public library. In the end handed a lovely lady the aforementioned golden envelope. It was International  Womens Day after all. (Again, I thought, what if she wins? If this was a film, she would win, and much hilarity, soul searching, and indie sound track would ensue)

My friends asked why some people get smaller “kindnesses” than others. Good question. Some days I have more money/patience/heart than others. Some days it’s hard. Some days an opportunity doesn’t easily present itself. When I was at the Kindness Conference in Somerset House back in November I remember thinking it was wierd them discussing “sustainable kindness” but now I know what they mean. I have let myself a little off the hook. As long as I do something every day, doesnt matter if its only small, as long as its in the right spirit. This (frankly) is a relief.

Plus I have already started thinking: what will I do next? Something else every day for a whole year? Am enjoying the mission.

March 9th Sponsored Sarah Ratheram (my friend)”to do the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile!” Obviously she is not a stranger but a. the actual donation will help strangers b. them’s my rules.c. sometimes it a nice to do an “easy one” instead of “front line”

March 10th first man (I think)I have ever bought an actual box of  chocolates for (apart from my granddad) Patrick was so kind, helpful and smily it could only have been him, he really looked after us at a great gig in Winchester Discovery Centre .

March 11th This loverly lady in Kentish Town after teaching workshop with The Cheek of It!

March 12th Sneaked this under door of lady I just did yoga with. She’s my “studio neighbour” but I don’t really know her yet. She’s an artist so it’s probably normal for her to receive strange messages under her door. Yoga is amazing. Great to do it again after only 1 year break.

March 13th Gave lovely lady at The Basement bunch of daffodils as I suddenly remembered I hadn’t done anything.

March 14th Signed an Age UK petition to help improve care for seniors- something I am really passionate about. I had amazing inspirational grandparents and would like to do more in this area!

March 15th  Just donated to RNIB as requested/suggested by Adam who I met on the bus today. Best thing about today was meting Adam, despite what I had previously imagine, its really easy to have conversations with people on the bus.

March 16th Volunteered to help on Campaign To End Loneliness.

March 17th  My friend Johanna’s wedding- she tried to explain karma to me as she’s a buddhist but I was tipsy (which I blame on her for providing me with champagne plus the best wedding food ever!) Paul McCarthy , new friend, wedding DJ and very nice man. Today’s recipient.

March 18th  Just donated to Great Ormond Street.Meant to ages ago after visiting my nephew in children’s ward and it broke my heart. and my heart is made of steel…(nephew is fine now)

March 19th  Something through the post for Bex Davey as suggested via twitter by Anna Madeleine. Bex runs café in New Cross (bit of a local fairy godmother herself by all accounts) I just found a beautiful pack of 1930s playing cards in Deptford market so included Tim The Tiger in the stuff I sent her. Will go to the cafe soon….

March 20th All week I tried to give sweets to strangers, challenging that old fashioned taboo. Starting tonight at the Barbican  Jars of lovely sweets with messages inside. I would have….

March 21st- first in a series of Cinderella cards. Made out of vintage annuals and dictionarys. really enjoyed making these. For Rhian Brain as suggested by Abigail O”Neill

March 22nd  Left sweets in a phone box .

March 23rd Checked, and  sweets out of phone box gone! Tonight I was looking for someone to give sweets to, then saw lady struggling with case. I rather keenly asked to help

Me: Let me help you

Her: no it’s so heavy… I don’t think

Me: It’s ok, I’m stronger than I look (the opposite is true)

I struggled up the stairs thinking:” you must have a corpse in this case”

Her: Thanks

Me: Do you want some sweets?

Her: No thanks I’m on a diet

That’s it. I’m done. Today has been a rollercoaster.

March 24th something through the post to Violet Skinner as suggested by Ava Bonham-Garter

March 25th  At Madam Jojos tonight for The Cheek of It!. Bloomers ironed. Ready to host. Ready to rock.with Lady Cheek and all the lovely ladies. What seems like 1000 women in saucy costumes. Nervous….gave a jar of sweets to the cloakroom lady. She seemed a bit depressed. We had a nice chat.

March 26th Last of my Cinderella cards sent to Sara Butcher as suggested by the lovely Ava Bonham-Garter

March 27th  Had reiki. Total bliss. Visited the wonderful Celien Hispiche at her new flat in Dean Street, and tried to give lady passing by  some flowers but she didn’t want them.(this doesn’t happen often but its a bit gutting!!)Gave them to Big Issue seller

March 28th at book launch of Short Stack with Pulp Press and For Books Sake.. Gave a lovely bunch of  daffs to this girl with the most amazing tattoos. Then I won a £30 voucher in the raffle! Instant karma!

March 29th cakes for my mysterious new neighbour. He dresses like a spy. I like it.

March 30th  at Are You Sitting Comfortably? gave this lady some hyacinths. The greatest smelling flowers in the world. She tweeted me later as she had shared them with another lady on the bus who liked them

March 31st my friend  Paschale’s birthday ,gave tloads of cakes out at her party. Kind man gave me lift to bus stop.

April 1st A girl asked me what the time was as I was waiting for bus.Think she was American.

Her: You don’t have a light do you?

Me: Yes, here you go. Erm, do you want some sweets as well? (like a crazy person I now carry around small gifts at all times)

Her: Erm. Ok. That’s amazing. Thanks

I gave her the chocolate

Her: I know I was gonna like London.

Me: Yeah, it’s a London Bridge thing, we just give visitors sweets.

Her: That is so cool.

(at this point I thought about asking her if I could take her picture but that seemed a BIT MUCH as it sometimes does, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. I love the fact that she will hopefully believe that it’s a tradition.!!)

April 2nd “Compliments Week” This is gonna be harder than it sounds I reckon! Inspired by Asif Iqbal and Damon Shaw. Met this lady taking tickets at NFT.

Me: how are you?

Her: bit knackered. I’ve been drinking and staying up all night coz of the festival.

Me: you don’t look knackered, you look like a magic pixie

Her: thanks very much

Me: you are an advert for drinking and staying up all night

Her: nervous giggling

Too much??

April 2nd To the man on 47 bus:

Me: your eyes are like diamonds. Brown diamonds.

Him: can u get them? Brown diamonds?

Me: yes. You definitely can.

Him: that’s cool

I’m on a roll now…

April 3rd In Starbucks waiting for Jules. The staff were hilarious, really made me laugh.

Me: you lot are brilliant

They all stopped what they were doing

Me : ( a bit nervous) seriously you are great all four of you. You should all be living lives of endless fun

Boy: we wish

Other boy: they wouldn’t allow it. We’re not even allowed creased aprons

Me: how dare they! I will protest loudly!

( we all laughs bit)

(the first boy looks a bit fed up now)

Boy: they have so many rules

Me:(whispering) I’m gonna call them Starf***s

We laugh. I go and have a cup of tea with this lively man.

April 4th  to a nice lady

me:I like your trousers (very floral, lush)

her: thanks they’re from Primark

me: I can never find anything nice in there. when I go in it looks like a rhino has attacked a jumble sale.


me: but obviously you’ve got the knack

her: you should go in early, before the maniacs get there.

me: I will. anyway you look great. your trousers have cheered me up. they are the Trousers of Spring

her: thanks

after that I paid two dogs compliments, first of all my friend .Nicola Blackwell’s gorgeous rescue dog and then Major Tom who belongs to Victoria Melody and is beautiful. Both dogs took it well.

April 5th Coming back from the Barbican this lady and I were waiting by the wrong set of tube doors to get off the train. (the door opened other side)

Her: I knew it would be the other side I always do that

Me: Me too. Then I pretend I knew that anyway

Her: Then everyone thinks she’s just looking at herself, at her reflection, in the glass

Me: If I looked like you I would look at my reflection. I mean, you know what I mean. You have a lovely face

Her: O God I don’t

Me: You do.

Her: I think it’s awful

Me: No you’re beautiful you look like Clare Danes

Her: Who?

Me: She’s in Homeland

Her: I love that. Nice to meet you.

April 6th Had lush Thai dinner with my mate Kate.

Kate: tell the waiter something nice. He is nice.

(earlier I muttered behind his back “don’t bother smiling then” as he looked a bit stern…!)

I wandered over

me: me and my friend think you are excellent. A really friendly waiter and a really nice person. We’re coming back. Next time we’ll bring a bigger tip!

Him: that’s so nice thankyou! And you’d better

Me: you mean the tip?


April 7th At Waterloo Station

Me: I’m really impressed at how you walk in those shoes. You look elegant

Lady with crazily high shoes: thanks. They’re actually quite comfy

Me: really?

Her: yes you get used to them

Me: I would never get used to them. I would look like bambi after 10 pints if I tried to walk in them

Her: that’s funny (she didn’t laugh)

Me: anyway, you look great

Her: thanks


I really tried to give someone a compliment today but they were all walking too fast, although I did manage lots of smiles and Happy Easters. Then we sat in the car and had a picnic on Old Winchester Hill and saw 5 HARES running and playing, it was  so magical. Made a small donation to Thusa Kamelseswaran appeal. My mum bought me cheese for Easter. She knows what I like!

April 9th again I failed to pay anyone a compliment, partly due to the train being full of loud, tired, braying types!!! So bagged up a load of stuff for red cross

April 10th after kids show Mitch is delivering this box of goodies to his flat mates for me, kindness by delivery

April 11th I just couldn’t keep up with it today.(you know, modern life) And I looked like Nosferatu. Had these lovely hyacinths to give to a stranger but coz of the whole, undead look, wasn’t sure how well it would go. Then I met two overworked girls . I said sorry I look like Edward Scissorhands. They didn’t mind. They said it had been quiet but they still had to work like dogs and weren’t allowed home till the restaurant was clean. Modern day Cinderellas! Fantastic night last night at Cadence,amazing poetry, singing and storytelling.

April 12th Left a little message and a pound coin on a park bench in Deptford

April 13th Working on Depth Charge with the amazing Wet Picnic. Gave this to artist at Gunwharf . I had made it without anyone specifically in mind, then gave it to him as he seemed so nice, then thought maybe it’s a bit girly. I had to see him again the next day, and I was a bit embarrassed but he didn’t seem to mind

April 14th gave this girl in the choir a small gift, in return I got a hug which was great as I was very cold

April 15th -just finshed show with Wet Picnic Just a little one today…a coin and a note on the bench signed “gunwharf fairy”

April 16th Sneaked these in the fridge at Lucas Studios for a surprise treat for those starving artists types. Let them eat cakes !!

April 17th I carried a spare umbrella in case anyone got caught in the rain (leopard print)

Found someone! At the wonderful Cheek of it! class. Also  sponsored Tamsin Mccahill as she promised to do an actual moonwalk.

April 18th got stuck behind the stage at The Basement…. not quite sure how it happened…couldn’t get out without walking through dress rehearsal! So I bought the performer Super Bard some flowers!!

April 19th Tried a compliment again (well deserved)

Me: you have amazing eyes (she did, sort of green blue)

Her: thanks. They’re hereditary

Me: inherited from an angel

There was a brief pause then thankfully we BOTH laughed like mad

Me: sorry that was a bit wierd

Her: no, I like wierd. Wierd is better than boring

( I explained what I was doing)

Me: would you say that counted? As being kind?

Her: definitely. You’ve cheered me up, also I was really bored and now I’m not.

Me: brilliant

Her: I’m gonna do it tomorrow. I might find a husband.

Brilliant. Think I’ve made another new friend on the 47.#366daysofkindness

April 20th for  Joyce Jewell, a surprise through the post for this lovely lady, who lives alone and sounds like the Nicest Person In The World. Kirsty Mc Taggart told me about this lady (her nan’s best friend)

April 21st banners made for Gareh Brierely, Sarah Wheeler (as requested by  Beverely Freer) Samenua (as requested by Gaylene Gould) Kirsty Housley, Karen Knowles (as requested by Damien Cooper) Julia Belyaven (as requested by Chris Trim) and Nick Hutchins (as requested by Kim Trim. The signs were a little  scary as I only had black paint left! All ready for the marathon, fab to have something to take my mind of my (literally) bleeding mouth. Got raspberry bellinis and loads of sweets and biscuits to give to runners. Run rabbits run!

Today I set myself the challenge of approaching someone I was scared of. I know this sounds mental but I am usually kind to those who look kind, and I was thinking those who don’t look a bit… you know… grumpy… prob get grumpiness back… or something. Anyway was in Lidl buying 10 tonnes of sweets to give away at the marathon tomorrow, having only just regained the power of speech after being tortured by the dentist. saw a woman with really nice earrings and a scowl. she was scary, trust me

me: your earrings are lush

her: what?

me: your earrings are great. they suit you (crazy parrot earrings, brilliant)

her: thanks. my top’s got a hole in though (she showed me)

me: it looks fine. you could say its’ your style

her: it is. can I go in front I’ve only got two things?

me: of course

her: thanks (massive smile, much better than scowl, still slightly scary)

Harry Webster told me this story: i saw two skinheads (not just people with shaved heads, but the full bomber jackets, doc martins, teardop tattoos etc) give up their seats to an elderly couple on the bus, whom they addressed as ‘sir and ‘madam’. gave me a nice feeling.

So, onwards. These are a few things I’d like to do this month: give blood,give a present to my brilliant post man,give a present to a chugger (they get hassle all day) and take a big issue seller for lunch ….



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