#366daysofkindness Chapter 17 August 2012.

August 17th, 2012 by Bernadette

1st August 2012

Went to see my exhibition at Woolfson and Tay gallery in Bermondsey, they have done a great job of displaying it. Plus left a beautiful teeny tiny notebook as a gift for whoever visits first!

a gift for my first visitor


2nd August 2012

Just donated to www.karuna.org.uk. Thanks to Judi Hughes for telling me about them and their amazing work. They are working to develop a forest gardening and permaculture site in Shropshire – Janta, Merav and their two boys at Karuna – Judi said, “they’re working so hard to make the world a better place and could do with some kind words and support”


3rd August 2012

For the lovely family who run cafe at Jackson’s Lane Theatre without whom I would have perished of malnutrition the last few weeks, whilst making “Death and Gardening” with Wet Picnic.

At Jackson's Lane Theatre


4th August 2012

Today I discovered one of my neighbours trying to shove her sofa through a window so she could redecorate. I tried to help. It was like watching a cat giving birth to a calf. But we did it. I mostly served as encouragement as my shoving was rubbish.

Shove it!


5th August 2012

On the way back from Wivelsfield I saw a man asleep. I left this on the seat next to him with a note saying ” a present for when you wake up” Then I realized I probably should have woken him in case he missed his stop. Doh.

A gift for sleepy head


6th August 2012

Ooo, I’ve had a right bloody day. First- I dropped my phone in tea, then I got a really mean email from someone, and I had to walk around my studio a bit thinking about the Dalai Lama to calm down (this is what I do now) then every single thing I tried to do went a bit wrong. So, I had a quick clear out of a cupboard, bagged up a load of stuff for the charity shop, and took it there. The man in the shop said I couldn’t take his picture as he looks too old and he’d break my camera (the amount of people that say exactly that) I said:

“Don’t be daft. Come on, you might get a proposal off someone when they’ve seen you on my facebook page”

Him: “Go on then”

Me: “Look if you let me take your photo, I’ll come back tomorrow with more stuff. Yes, that is blackmail”

For Sense in Deptford High Street, who by the way are really short of donations and will take anything, so they say (including compliments and bribes)

This cheered me up. That and the chat I had with Patrick from Birmingham on the 188 home, and the chat I had with the Gentlemen’s Drinking Club underneath Deptford Station. Always, always, it cheers me up.

Sense in Deptford

7th August 2012

My mate is growing her armpit hair for charity. This has tickled me, so I made a donation. She might tickle me herself with the hair when it grows, if I’m lucky. It’s for Verity, the polycystic ovaries self help group. Today I was really kind a lot because a. I have a new phone and this put a spring in my step and b. I was laughing out loud as Dawn French’s book is hilarious. I gave the Big Issue woman some money but said I didn’t want the paper. She asked me why

Me: Honestly, because I have two copies already

Her: That’s weird

Me: I know. It’s a long story.

I was gonna carry on talking to her but she was very popular and didn’t need my rabbit. Plus she already thought I was a nutter.

8th August 2012

So, I’m in Hoxton, as my friend persuaded me to go to a life drawing class, even though I can’t draw to save my life. I was having a cuppa (unfashionably early as usual) when along comes this man

Man: Excuse me, I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you look like the actress who plays Judy Garland

Me: O. I thought Judy Garland played Judy Garland

Man: Anyway, bye…

Me: Wait a minute! I have been looking for someone to give this “unbirthday present” to, will you accept it? In exchange for a photo?

Man: Yes! Thanks.

(As I am getting ready to take picture)

Man: My Dad was a psychic, and I knew as soon as I saw you that you’d have a beautiful soul

Me: Thanks very much. Hold still a minute

Man: I was the nesquik baby you know

Me: What?

Man: I was a child model

Me: O. Wow!

Man: Thanks for the present. Bye.

Happy Unbirthday!

9th August 2012

357th day of kindness- watched amazing Usain Bolt smash 200 meters, had the most beautiful walk on the Southbank from the London Eye nearly all the way home, during which I kept thinking “London is really showing off right now”. Gave all the money I had in my purse to the man who sleeps opposite the roman ruins near The Clink in London Bridge.

10th August 2012

356th day of kindness. This is Derek. I bumped him wandering around Greenwich; he was looking for the cable car thingy. I took him to the DLR and helped him work out the route. On the way we had a chat

Me: So what do you do Derek?

Derek: I retired a long time ago. But I used to be a banker in the City

Me: O I see. You’re one of them boys

Derek: No not one of them boys. In those days it wasn’t like it is now. In those days there was just a few people laundering dirty money

Me: Not like now, all gambling with other people’s money

Derek: Exactly.


11th August 2012

357th day of kindness

My sis and me queued with many others to have our pic taken with torch at Excel, but they said they had run out of time. Children started to get teary, so we let the kids go in front then they extended the time so all kids and us big kids got pics taken with torch. Then we gave our seats to a family, made a card for a neighbour and stuck it in their letterbox and offered to make cups of tea to the firemen down our road. Good girls.

for a neighbour

12th August 2012

358th day of kindness- bought some ring doughnuts (Olympic theme there, geddit?) for the AMAZING and permanently cheerful/ nice/ helpful volunteers @Greenwich Park.

Amazing volunteers


13th August 2012

Today, for a lady in this shop, looking like she was having a stressful day, a bunch of flowers and a card.



14th August 2012

As the Post Office have been such a big part of this year, always delivering (yeah, I know it’s cooler to slag them off, but they have been BRILLIANT) I made them a card and took a load of yumyums to the collection office. They were literally speechless. One of them hid and wouldn’t have his picture taken!

Post Office

15th August 2012

Volunteered at Surrey Docks Farm and made a donation- so I can carry on the kindness after these last few days are up have been looking for somewhere local to volunteer

Surrey Docks Farm

16th August 2012

Free beer at Evelyn Street! Left this beer on the doorstep. Gone in 5 minutes. I am told it is pretty good beer!

free beer!


17th August 2012

Hee Hee! I just called a total stranger and wished him happy birthday! This was brilliant! I considered singing but I had a bit of a croaky voice and decided this would be terrifying. He is one of twins and he said his actual birthday was tomorrow so I’ll call his bruv then. Thanks to Jo Goodwin for an excellent start to my last day of kindness!

Then my sister, my nephew and my friend Kirsty and I went back to Lower Road Post Office where my whole year of kindness began. I bought them a cake and a plant, and wrote a card explaining what had happened this year. They gave us free drinks and told us about this lady who brings them a ton of sweets in every Christmas. It seemed like a really fitting end to the year, to go back to where I started, but shortly afterwards, my sister and I found a small boy crying in Canada Water station, as he and his big brother had been playing too rough and he hurt his arm. We bought him a packet of Magic Stars and chatted to him till he felt better.

Off he skipped. Lovely end to the year.

back to the beginning


What now? My friend Sharon Calcutt is carrying the torch of kindness, by commencing her own year of kindness from tomorrow. And I will carry on, and get a chance to do a few of the things I didn’t have time to do this year.

Letter to Post Office


This whole year… best thing I have ever done.


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