The kindness of strangers



I must just put this down before I forget because it’s a story of kindness, of which I think more should be reported. And I also wanted to say ‘thank you’ to this unknown person, who was so kind to me, especially.

Last week I was on the underground with my nose in a fascinating book. I was wearing my deliciously soft new aubergine coloured long cardigan (Fenn, Wright and Manson), which I bought in Peter Jones last week as my ‘top spot’ for the Autumn. A season which unfortunately seems to have arrived already. My cardigan has a pocket either side, but it would be a mistake to put something heavy in there. They are meant only for small handkerchiefs!

Before I got on to the tube, I had been wearing my sunglasses (a free gift with a raincoat). Yes, an odd choice to put together but both good quality products. I had had the sunglasses for two years or more and like them very much because they are 40’s film star tortoiseshell design…… no aviator stuff for me. This year it would have been difficult to replace them as I find the 2008 designs very ugly on the whole. Probably to do with middle age or maybe sky-diving just doesn’t appeal.

Well, suddenly, I found myself at Green Park and had to leap off in a hurry. I jumped up, forgot to look behind me as I usually do in case I’ve forgotten something and wandered off down the platform to the escalator. I did hear somebody shouting ‘Madame’ at the top of their voice but ignored it, as I was part of a crowd of people walking towards the exit. Then a large man with black curly hair and a beard, dressed in robes of some nature overtook me and handed me my sunglasses, which I hadn’t even realised I’d lost. I had absent mindedly put them in the pocket of my cardigan as I got on the train and they had fallen onto the seat as I got up to leave. The man who was shouting ‘Madame’ was on the train and going further so he had obviously asked this other man who was getting off to run after me. And this relay race of kind men reunited me with said sunglasses.

I wasn’t able to say thank you to the first man in person, so I’m broadcasting it here. Many, many thanks for your kindness. I will think of you both every time I put on my sunglasses and hope I might be able to do somebody else a good turn soon. It is so heartwarming to be cared about and looked after by strangers and gives one hope that kindness might prevail in the end.


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