#366 days of kindness- Chapter 16- July 2012

August 8th, 2012 by Bernadette

1st July

I was at the Whitechapel interchange for the Overground line, super weary after an extremely long journey home from Brum. At the top of the stairs was a lady struggling with her buggy, hurrying to get the train, at the bottom was a tiny boy with his lip trembling. I scooped him up and carried to his Mum and they made the train, I was like a friendly child catcher. This used the last of my strength. I hope someone will scoop me up soon.

2nd July

Helped blind man get good seat on train, & a man with bad hip walk up stairs. Thought a lot about how trains are a bit rubbish for those with mobility challenges

3td July

I just sponsored Inside Out Heritage project with Sponsume for #366daysofkindness. If you think this is a boring one- consider- I started work at 9am and have just got home! In between I only saw people I know. Tomorrow I will try to do something more adventurous.

4th July

Gave my friends Grandad a ukulele lesson -he had wanted to learn for a long time and is George Formby fan! Great fun

Matt Feerick's granddad

5th july

A girl was fast asleep on the train back from Winchester when I got into Waterloo.I tried to wake her up. The first time she just wriggled and settled herself in. The second time I tried she said ” get off” then woke up embarrassed. I got her a bottle of water and showed her where the tube was. I think she’d had a “good day!”

Plus today I got this lovely message from “Simona Marletta” on Facebook

“hello bernadette. i just wanted you to know that the card you gave me hasn’t moved from under my pillow. it reads “make a wish, sleep with this under your pillow…it might just come true”. i keep wishing for better things to happen, in the meantime i look at the card and that, in itself, puts a smile on my face… thank you, hope to meet you one day”

July 6th

U-oh tummy bug has struck! Left an umbrella outside the house with a note saying ” this is a free umbrella- please take it. I prefer to get wet. ” It disappeared within 1/2 hour but I didn’t see who took it.


7th July

A card posted to remind someone of the endless possibilities of life, as suggested by Charlotte Dubery. I have been writing about Death for the new Wet Picnic show Death and Gardening and it is giving me a “seize the day” mindset!

A card through the post as suggested by Charlotte Dubery

8th July

In Kingston I met this waitress from Cork, she and I discussed the English Market there, and Paradiso and all the other brilliant things about Cork. I had haaloumi tandoori (I know!- “fusion”- lush!) after the storytelling gig we did for the festival. I also drank a glass of prosecco really fast. I gave her a golden envelope containing a lottery ticket and attempted to explain what I was doing but… the prosecco was talking. She seemed half charmed and half scared. Anyway, hope she wins

Golden ticket!

9th July

Just sneaked this into a letterbox. A mysterious card and some sweets. A man stared from the opposite house as he saw me taking pics.


10th July

Made a thankyou card for the man who makes The Best Coffee in Highgate. He wasn’t there. I left it by the tips jar and told the lady in there to give it to him. She gave me a bit of a look. Think I started a rumour….

A tip!

11th July

This morning, I went back to The Best Coffee in Highgate place, and the guy was there opening the card as I went in, it was amazing! He read it out and said ” Bernadette, who’s that?” I thought about remaining mysterious then thought it might be wierd later on if I am with someone and they say my name and he’ll think I’m a stalker. So I said “it’s me!” he said I made his week. First time all year I have seen someone open the card I secretly left.

So, the saga of the Best Coffee in Highgate continues a bit, as I found out the waitress who found the card I left for the man had thought it was for her, as it was her birthday the day before, so she thought it was from a friend as a surprise. SO I got her a birthday card and a little present. I am not gonna bother them, apart from in a normal getting a coffee way, again.

Happy Birthday stranger!

12th July

Nipped in and out of Latitude Festival to perform in Stan’s Cafe’s “Just Price of Flowers” before returning to rehearsals of Wet Picnic’s “Death and Gardening”. Spent total of 5 hours at the festival, the shortest time I have managed ever, and left rather reluctantly after scoffing a veggie hotdog, just as the rain started. This is Nicky who kindly gave me a lift through the mud in his buggy. I gave him some rolos.

Not just my last rolo, all of them!

13th July

At Toynbee Studios to do our Olympic themed storytelling show “Winners and Losers” including egg and spoon races! Found out it was this lady’s birthday during show. Got everyone to sing Happy Birthday to her and cobbled together a present and card. Great show. Ended with an Olympic Swearing Competition.

Happy Birthday Sam!


14th July

Hee Hee. Just getting ready for my Exhibition at Woolfson and Tay- left this in the books section

A small surprise

15th July

Today, my oyster card slipped out of its folder and fell onto the tracks as I was getting off tube. I had to explain myself to the guard, and was expecting trouble

Him: That is bad luck

Me: I know!

Him: Go through

Me: Really

Him: Yes. You can’t have more bad luck

Me: You are the nicest underground staff person, you are absolutely the best one. Plus you have a smile like a ray of sunshine

Him: O my God! (laughs)

His colleague: Oy! I heard that! What about me?!

Me: And you. You both are. I’d like to give you a reward but I don’t have one

Him: You can get us a coffee tomorrow

Me: OK.

I will do. Sometimes that’s enough. Just a little compliment.

I also donated to Big Isssue sponsored bike ride.

16th July

Today I recieved a beautiful anonymous package through the post. Beautifully wrapped  It is gorgeous. It contained a phone jacket with Alice in Wonderland on it. Whoever it was THANKYOU xxx

Went to the charity shop in Highgate. I thought I’d leave something in one of the second hand bags, so I made a little note saying “this is a magic bag, everytime you use it you will have an extremely lucky day” and I put a pound in it. Then I tried to take a picture but the woman in the shop was looking at me wierdly and I got skittish.

17th July

Received this lovely message via Facebook from from Audacity Chutzpah

“I’ve never even met Bernadette Russell but she still inspires me to be kinder. Thanks love. Given that we’re neighbours and have much in common I’m sure our paths will cross soon!”

Just left small card and gift inside “the actor’s handbook” in 2nd hand book shop. Figured anyone trying to be an actor in the current climate deserves a gift.

Acting surprise

18th July

So, out of the house between 7.30am- 10.30pm, most of the time in a black box with Matt Feerick shouting “cue sperm” and other such Wet Picnic madness, like a porn set it was in Jacksons Lane today, nearly home and remembered I hadn’t done a kindness. I mean, I’d smiled etc, but hadn’t gone out of my way. I ran to the busstop and saw a young woman

Me: Hello, do you like chocolate?

Her: er… yes

Me: Would you like this (nice lindt orange chocolate)

Her: Are you sure?

Me: I don’t like chocolate and you’d actually be doing me a favour. I’m on a mission.

Her: Ok. Thanks

I ran off. I hope this was a kindness.

19th July

I have had the mentalist journey home, culminating in meeting a man on 43 who claimed to be a mathematician who knew the beach boys who tried to teach me Esperanto. Left this on the tube. After the crazy man I didn’t have it in me to approach anyone

Wonder who got it?

20th July

Met these two tigers on the tube after a very long day.

Me: Where have you two cats been?

Tiger 1: Late night at London Zoo

Me: You look amazing

Tiger 2: Thanks

Me: I know you’re not supposed to feed the animals but would you accept a small gift?

(I had some munchies)

Tiger 1: er…

Tiger 2: yes please

Friend of the tigers: You’ve made them very happy.

Me: They’ve made me happy.

After this I went to Canada Water tube and gave a man sheltering in the doorway a bit of money. Feel slightly mental.

Tigers with the munchies

21st July

So today I was at the bus stop and there was a lady in a pea green coat. ( no owl, no pussycat)

Me: I love your coat

Then she smiled. The best smile I have ever seen. I had to say something

Me: that’s a great smile. You are beautiful.

Her: thanks. ( she giggled, I felt myself blush and feel stupid)

Me: I love green

Her: me too. And I forgot I even had this coat, it’s really cheered me up

Me: and me

We had a chat and then I kept seeing her, and we kept seeing ” hello” and smiling at the coincidence of making the long journey from deptford to Highgate.her green coat brightened up my bleary eyed morning. Then I got home to this amazing present from my friends Anna Sinfield and Abby Butcher. I seem to be getting a lot of gifts now….

It's all coming back to me...

22nd July

I was waiting for a call from Debbie McGee. Not every day you get to say that.She was interviewing Viktor and myself for the Wet Picnic show “Death and Gardening” She was as nice as you’d expect. I did like her (a lot)

Found out my neighbour had heart attack ( only 42!) so made her this card hopefully will be able to help her with shopping etc

23rd July

I carried around this fiver, waiting for someone to ask me for some money. I had it for 3 hours till anyone asked for money. In the end I gave it to a man and his dog.

24th July

Today I met a lady called Cindy on Russell Street in Covent Garden , in a sweet shop called Hope and Glory. I went in and she was drinking a bottle of water, she said she loved the weather but was parched. I went back later and bought her a bottle of orange juice. She gave me a giant lollipop. Everyone’s a winner.

sweet enough already

25th July

Today I helped a woman on an extremely busy train to Brighton find a place for her rucksack. That train was like a cattle truck. There was a lot of rage. I am staying in Brighton as I never ever want to get on a train again. Or at least until the Olympics has gone.

26th July

I thought I’d say yes to the first person that asked me for anything, and this totally charming man asked me to do a monthly wotsit for a charity he worked for but he asked me not to say which one he works for, so I won’t. He says they’re not allowed, and then he had to take his work t shirt off for the picture. I signed up and we had a chat for a bit.

27th July olypmics

Just donated to sports aid after watching that extraordinary Olympic opening ceremony. Had to really.. I am massively over excited and tipsy.

28th July

This is my neighbour who owns the newsagents near me. For 32 years he gets up at 5.30am and finishes work at 12.30pm, he gets up a bit later on Sundays. He’s always cheerful. He told me this just when we were chatting about work. I asked his son what he might like for a present, as I thought he deserved one, so I got him a bottle of JD as suggested. It was difficult to get him to accept it at first, then he was really chuffed.One of my favourites ever.

29th July

Winging it’s way to Northampton for as suggested by Ursula Dares

30th July

Wrote to and donated to Pussy Riot You can write to them here: pussriotsolidarity@gmail.com or read about them here: http://freepussyriot.org/



31st July

Winging it’s way to Wellingborough as recommended by Ava Bonham-Garter

That’s it for this month!

18th Days To Go folks!



  1. Hi Amy, thanks for your comment! Yes, I know what you mean, I think I did those things too, as I started to record it it made me think about it a bit more, and do it on the days I didn’t feel like it!! xxxx

  2. Hi Bernadette, well done, what a great project, I hope more people follow your lead.
    It’s interesting reading your list of kindesses, because that’s the kind of stuff I do every day too, obivously without realising it, or without bringing my awareness to it. I’m always giving things away, helping people in the street, taking food round for people, giving lifts, minding kids for people etc etc. I think i’m going to do it more mindfully from now on, and make sure there is at least one thing a day, if not more.

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