#366daysofkindness Chapter 14 May 2012

June 28th, 2012 by Bernadette

May 1st

In Eastleigh. The man serving me in Tesco’s

Looked so depressed. The old lady paying for her stuff in front of me was taking ages. She appeared to have hidden her money from herself in an enormous bag. He was sweet to her but kept sighing to himself

Me: I like your earring

No response

Me: Are you OK?

Him: Sort of

Me: You should escape from here

Him: I wish

Me: Within six months everything will have changed for the better, I betcha.

Him: * nervous laugh*

Me: I know you think I’m a nutter but I really think that

Him: I bloody hope so

Me: I think you’re amazing

Him: I’m not.

Me: You are. You’re nice to people and you have a great smile.

Him: Thanks

Mmm.He wasn’t having it. Must try harder.

May 2nd

Tried to give blood. I had made an appointment at the Surrey Quays mobile blood unit. I kept thinking of vampires. I am, pathetically, the most squeamish person in the world, so I had set myself this task as a personal challenge. My little sister has given so much blood over the years she has received some kind of trophy. So, off I went.

Panic in the extremely claustrophobic, and, it has to be said, extremely unfriendly and gruff atmosphere of the Mobile Blood Unit. Failed to give blood due to a. having a panic attack b. the nurse shouting at me for filling the form in with a pencil.

I said, “I can’t do this” and legged it.

On the bus on the way home, feeling embarrassed and relieved in equal measure, I spotted a lady with her son, his arm in a grubby sling, asking if they could get on the bus for free.

She stunk of booze. I could smell it three seats away. It’s 10.30 am.

Her: (to bus driver) can you help me? I have to get my son to Lewisham Hospital. I haven’t got any money

Me: (on phone to sis explaining my blood giving failure) are you ok?

Her: yeah, he can give me a piece of paper; I’ve seen them, a special pass.

I approach, I can definitely smell booze

Me: it’s ok I’ll pay

Her: thanks

Me: it’s no problem. You’ve done me a favour. I couldn’t give blood

Her: o

They went upstairs

This made me sad.

May 3rd

Met two ladies on escalator at London Bridge. They were loitering at the top.

Me: Are you two ok?

Lady 1: yes

Lady 2: no

Lady 1: she’s afraid of escalators

Lady 2: she is.

(They were both in their 60s at least)

Me: Where have you come from?

Both ladies: INDIA!!!!

Me: Well it could be worse. You might have had to travel the whole way from India to London on a giant escalator.


Me: Only joking, you don’t get escalators that long, not even in London! (We all giggle) You should each have a boiled sweet. Then just suck it and try to concentrate on that and not the escalator.

Lady 1: We haven’t got any sweets

Me: I have!

I loved them, they made me smile.

May 4th

I just donated to Welcome to Fundraising Football 2012. They raise money for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity (as requested by my lovely old mucker Chris Wright)

May 5th

Bought a flat white and gave the waiter a £5 tip. This is rubbish as a. not very imaginative and b. I am skint

May 6th

Set myself task of paying compliments all day- did 12 -received 2 hugs and a kitkat. It was fun and I managed to do it, without anyone suspecting me of chatting them up (I hope!)

I had a really nice chat with an old fella on the bus, who was sporting a fabulous trilby (I told him I love it, I am a big fan of hats). He told me about his grandkids and his operations. Then he said, “There’s a lot you can do after two hip replacements” Hee hee! (got a hug)

Had a great conversation with a lady at the bus stop about the challenge of wearing heels when you have to actually walk around in them. She had great hair, an auburn afro, and we missed the bus because we were chatting. (Got a hug)

Then the Big Issue seller in London Bridge, after a long chat (during which I made sure he knew how amazing I thought he was, and he is, cheerful even in the rain, always singing) insisted of giving me one of his kitkats. It was a fun day.

May 7th

Told a man with his twinkly eyes he could conquer the world. He blushed. I blushed.

May 8th

I met these two girls outside a café in Brighton; we were all ordering jacket potatoes.

Me: I love your shoes

Girl 1: Don’t you think they look like granddad shoes?

Me: No!

Girl 2: that’s the look isn’t it?

Me: They look great.

Silence, waiting for potatoes.

Me: I really need a jacket potato

Girl 2: Yeah, we need stodge

Girl 1: we’re back at work.

I ask to take a picture of them, as they look great. I try to think of something more I can / do say. I say I’m putting them in my blog

Girl 1: Ooo, I’m blog-worthy! What’s it about

Me: erm… I’m not gonna tell you. Check it out, it’s a surprise.

I buy them each a kitkat.

Me: This is just to say thanks

I scarper, and can hear them giggling.

May 9th

Man said to me do you have a light?

Me: no, sorry

Him: (whilst eating) do you think I should be eating this?

(He’s eating a pasty)

Me: it looks ok

Him: I got it off the top of a bin, but it’s warm

Me: it looks fine.

He walks off. I feel a bit guilty. I run after him and give him £2, which is all I have

Me: I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that pasty, but you might fancy afters

Him: thanks

May 10th

Left postcard with nice message inside book at WHSmiths

Random, I know, but kind of magical I hope.

May 11th

Some idiot tried to mug me in Wandsworth this morning. It was 9.30 am, and it was the most rubbish attempt at mugging ever. He only succeeded a. breaking my iphone b. running over my foot and c. hurting my arm. He came up behind me on a motorbike, nudged my phone and my bag out of my hand and then circled around me, whilst I swore at him in at least two languages. I invented new swearing, just for him. He seemed alarmed by this turn of events and my potty mouth, and scarpered with nothing! Apart from my curses in his ear!

I was on my way to meet a friend for the launch of Wandsworth Festival, and arrived absolutely livid. My friend Sarah and two glasses of Bucks Fizz soon clamed me down, but I was tipsy by 11am and this was not how I had expected my morning to go. I met lots of new people for the first time and all I could talk about was how someone had tried to mug me. It was getting boring, after a while.

I didn’t stay angry. I kept thinking about what a waste of effort it was for him.

I went to another launch in the evening, Islington WORD 2012 festival and left a card in a book in Islington library, for someone to discover one day.

May 12th

Left a card on a bench in SW18

May 13th

Posted a card through the door of this house

May 14th

Went to the dentist to see hygienist. The receptionist was super-nice, her and the dental nurse were muttering as I waited

Receptionist: Miss Russell?

Me: I can hear you two muttering

Receptionist: The hygienist isn’t here. I’m afraid there’s been a boo-boo.

Me: (laughing) you saying “Boo-boo” has made it all better

Receptionist: you’re very nice (noticing my rabbit badge) does that bunny bring you luck?

Me: Sort of

Receptionist: I need some luck. I try to be positive but I get trod on. I’m reading this (pulls out copy of The Power) it’s hard to put it in practice.

Me: You are positive

Receptionist: Tell you the truth, I’m fed up.

She draws a smiley face on my appointment and tells me her name’s Jerry. I leave, and then bring her back a bag of maltesers. I know, slightly inappropriate for a dentists, but it was 9am.She shouted “you are lovely!” as I left, a bit embarrassed

May 15th

 Left this message at friends neighbours house

May 16th s

Kirsty Housley deserves a special mention; she’s a good friend of mine, who ran a staggering 6 marathons in 6 weeks, in memory of her niece Ellen who died aged 10 months. Ellen had a rare liver condition called Biliary Atresia and Kirsty was raising money for it, and I sponsored her. We also made her a banner on Marathon Day and cheered as she ran past the house. She is amazing.

May 17th

In the street was a dapper silver haired gentleman. Bow tie, three piece suit, brogues

Me: hello

Him: er…. Hello

Me: I hope you don’t mind me saying you look wonderful. Stylish and cool. Dapper

Him: *giggle* thanks. Really?

Me: absolutely.

Him: I am very pleased

Me: bye.

After that I saw him watching me a bit nervously. Wondering what I was up to

May 18th

Tiny present left in park in Eastleigh

May 19th

Last year I left a fiver on a bus going towards Lewisham, in the early days of #366daysofkindness, and a man messaged me from Nottingham to say he received the same note in change! Amazing!

I helped a man get his luggage off the train. A lot of luggage, I might add.

Him:” I know I look like a tough nut but I’ve hurt my arm”

He did. (Look like a tough nut.) Turned out to be sweet and funny. But he must have had concrete in that case. What the hell is it with people and suitcases heavier than the moon?

May 20th

Gave Fiona at Magic Garden a bunch of flowers

May 21st I

The man outside the station has one leg. He was singing very quietly. I gave him a bit of money

Me: Sorry it’s not more

Him: S’okay

Me: What are you singing?

Him: I don’t know. I’m making it up. I think I’m making it up.

May 22nd

This sent to Kate Lundie Hills mum who just had op

Winging it’s way to Bushey. That is an EDIBLE paper butterfly!

May 23rd

To Jana Lapel-Denis as suggested by Vivacity Bliss, to cheer her up

May 24th

Sponsored Ian Payton who is running the Edinburgh marathon for bowel cancer

May 25th

To Jane Richardson as suggested by Jess Pearce to cheer her up

May 26th

Yesterday Matt Feerick, and the lovely Wet Picnickers helped this lady push her car as an act of kindness. Matt then told me he is going to do an act of kindness every day in his up and coming trip to Canada.

Found out it was this lady’s birthday and bought her flowers (bar manager in the Clark and Well)

May 27th

For Kim through the post to cheer her up as suggested by Wendy Attwell.

May 28th

Posted today to Lynne Chapman as suggested by Ava Bonham-Garter

May 29th   

To a mystery recipient in Canada (have to keep this one schtum as it’s delicate!!!)

May 30th

This one complicated, exciting, romantic! Via Matt Feerick!

(Turning into a bit of a cupid now! Loving it!)

May 31st

Met these really sweet school girls on Corporation Street, Birmingham

Girl 1: excuse me, could you give us 50p

Girl 2: we need 60p

Me: are you ok?

Girl 3: she lost her bus pass

I rummage in my bag

Girl 1: thankyou! Hope you have a lovely day

Girl 2: thank you. Hope you have the best day ever in the world

All of this said in the BEST brummie accents. Made my day


#366 Days of Kindness Chapter 13 April 2012 continued

June 27th, 2012 by Bernadette

Late April. Insomnia very bad. Told can’t spend too much time in front of computers. Signed off work sick. Tired but cheerful. Seem to be OK if I’m not in an office, so I never step a foot inside an office again.Determined to be kind and entirely driven by caffeine….on I go…

April  23rd

 Tonight I was invited to speak on World Book night about #366daysofkindness, with Gemma Seltzer whose brilliant blog  Speak To Strangers has been turned into a book. Ihis is the first time I have ever attempted to try and collate some of the material and stories I have gathered this year and it was  tricky.  In the end I just ignored what I had printed out and improvised. Manor House Library looks like a stately home. The ‘refreshments’ on the night were lovely, a lot of really small exotic food is exactly what I like, and I needed to be “refreshed” by the spritzers (spritzers! so glad they’re back in fashion) as I was very nervous, faced with a crowd of charming but slightly intellectual book fans, I felt a little inadequate.

At one point I decided to get them to pay each other compliments. They did this with such enthusiasm that it was very difficult for me to get their attention back. Anyway, a good night. I gave this lady a bunch of flowers. I picked her because she had a nice smile and a bit of a twinkle. In retrospect that could be said of all the audience at World Book Night.

April 24th

Another through the post to stranger Marlene Redmond as recommended by  Annaliza Jennings

April 25th

 Ian in Brighton. He was selling a bedraggled Big Issue and I asked him how he was.

Ian: I’m ok. I don’t know anyone here anymore, in Brighton. I’m going to the pub to make friends, so I’m getting some money to buy someone else a drink. But before that I’m having a pasty to line my stomach

I gave Ian some money for drinks and we had a great chat. He had his pasty and we discussed how people don’t very often stop and spend time to talk to strangers (inspired by Gemma Seltzer yesterday) Ian was funny.

April 26th

Went to see “Kafka’s Monkey” in Winchester with Katerine Hunter. I hadn’t done a kindness that day, so I left her an anonymous card saying wrll done and you’re great. I’m sure she gets plenty, and it felt a little odd, but glad I did it. Today I noticed that Andi Peters is doing acts of kindness, or encouraging them on his radio show, so I tweeted him to tell him what I as doing. This was the first of many attempts to contact Andi Peters, who is not responding. If you are reading this Andi, I won’t give up. I am after you.

April 27th On train to Windsor for comering gig as Toni Galore. My bag is heaving with wigs, they poke out of the zip a little, as if I am smuggling an actual person. A  man pays for my tea. I told him about #366daysofkindess and  said I should’ve paid for his. He asked if that was why I carried ukulele, in order to be kind. This was the most unusual question I have thus far been asked and I was stunned into silence. At the end of the gig- great fun-I met this amazing lady and gave her a small gift.


April 28th

Harriet and Matthew’s wedding at the Tower Of London no less! Amazing to be able to wander round the tower and an amazing wedding. The choir was so good, literally every time they sang I wept. Harriet and Matthew looked gorgeous. It was a Very Good Do. I compered the cabaret, but as myself, not as Toni, and I will never do that again. It’s much easier to be funny in disguise! At the ‘disco’ I bought a cheeky man a drink and explained my mission. He said he could think of other things I could do for him! I didn’t mind this sauce. It is a wedding. It’s part of the tradition.


April 29th I sponsored Claire Squires for the Samaritans on Just Giving.

 April 30th On the way to Brighton on the train, I helped a lady with a massive case on to the train. I shouted “Holy Fuck” as it was so heavy. Said sorry. I doubt even the Isle of Wight weighs as much as that case did.


#366daysofkindness- Chapter 12-a quick update

June 16th, 2012 by Bernadette

Hello dear friends, sorry for the delay. I have continued on my kindness quest as promised, but creating 8 new shows in the last three months has left me no time for blogging! There will be an update soon. You can check out all the daily kindnesses on twitter @betterussell or find me on facebook Bernadette Russell. At the beginning of July there will be a long overdue update! There will also be an exhibition at Woolfson and Tay gallery, so you could pop along if you’d rather do that than read what will enevitably be a massive blog entry!!!


Juneathon Day 2 – Dog tired

June 2nd, 2012 by Gareth

Hello All

I did a 30 min jog in two parts today. I had Lexie the dog for the last couple of days and she was going back to her mum this morning. I thought she might be up for a run. This was the reaction.

  We walked there and I ran back. Stopped back at home, then I ran to tesco’s to get shopping for the AYSC event we have tomorrow in Battersea Park for the jubilee. I even tried to run around the store, but came unstuck in the fish department. Then I ran back with shopping bags in hands. The problem being was I looked like a shoplifter. So 30 minutes of strange running, a lot of lifting steamer trunks for the gig and some walking around the park.

Marathon and back again.

June 1st, 2012 by Gareth

Hello all


I ran the London marathon. There you go it’s out there. 26 miles point something. A year of training, worrying and bad fashion choices. It’s only dawned on me a month later that I actually done. I will never do it again

First of all thank you all for the money you gave me for CHILDREN WITH CANCER UK. We raised over a thousand pounds and I am really touched and grateful. It was wonderful to run in the city that I love so much and the people were wonderful. Running past my house and seeing my lovely friends and girlfriend cheering me on, throwing water at me and screaming was a highlight I will never forget.

However, I never what to feel that feeling I had at 20 miles. High on too much glucose and sugar the wall came. Then the wall came back again smashing into me 4 or 5 times. Then a new wall was built over my dead ruined body. Depression hits, you think something is seriously wrong. People are dropping out and falling to the floor. Stretchers are numerous, crying is plentiful.

My legs stopped running and I had to walk for two miles and a half. The tube looked like a lovely option. Then I went into a black tunnel somewhere on the embankment. I found a empty toilet. Coming out I was like a new man, the legs worked once more. I ran out of the tunnel on the other side into the end of the world. The heaven’s opened and a storm began. It was wonderful. I ran all the way across the finish and cried.

What else?

The medal is large, like Jim will fix it. The recovery tent to change in was like something from the somme. Men crawling around the floor moaning, half out of their pants with severe cramps. The organisers are hero’s.

Good luck to you all for next year. I will be outside my house cheering you on. Drunk.



So I want to keep running. But it’s had without a new challenge. So I was thinking about what to do when Cathy White gave me this link to Juneathon



So every day in June I will be doing a small blog about my exercise routines. So here we go.

June 1st

25 minute run around surrey quays wildlife park and docks. Lovely run but toes are hurting. A woman in her late seventies overtook me half way around. She then laughed. Best running song of the day I had on was YOU CAN’T TOUCH THIS by MC HAMMER. I even did a bit of the  shuffle dance at the 20 min mark. Does any one else combine a bit of bad dancing with their running? I think I close to inventing the new zumba.

See you soon