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