A few weeks ago, I fell over. Not actually a rare occurrence for me unfortunately – I find it very easy to trip over my own feet. But this fall was different. Carried home. Given crutches. Still limping.
However, far from the usual cliche of Londoners being unfriendly moody buggers, I found the opposite. I’ve seen so much kindness and chivalry this past couple of weeks I felt the need to say (well, ok. Type.) a big old thank you. To the people who happily gave up their seat on the bus (even the octogenarian who jumped up in a sprightly manner as soon as he saw me and downright insisted I sat). To the drivers who lowered the bus to help me get on, and then waited until I sat down before setting off. To the lady who waited outside the bus during the downpour so I could share her umbrella. The people who hovered nervously behind me ready to catch me whilst I clambered (with a disturbing lack of grace) on to the bus. To my new friends the local builders who have cheered my progress from two crutches to one and eventually to none. To the banker who helped me on and off the escalator despite my protests because “the floor’s wet and I was worried about you”. To the guys in Pret who gave me a hot chocolate on the house on a particularly pitiful day. And obviously, to my other half who has fetched and carried (and carried me) endlessly while I sat with my leg in the air, who has passed me tissues while I moped and wailed about the unfairness of it all, and who brought the outside in while I couldn’t negotiate the two flights of stairs that unfortunately greet the entrance to my home.
In a parallel, more negative, me-Universe I would be mentioning those people who have kept their eyes steadfastly fixed on the floor while I sway precariously on one leg as they bus takes a sharp turn. The ones who tutted when I negotiated crutches, a travel card, a bag and a moving bus. And the people who have told me their own ankle stories, ending in “Well, I was walking/on a bike/doing a marathon within a couple of days” and eyeing my crutches with a suspicious and cynical eye. (FYI – I’m not doing this for fun. I do not see these as the latest OTM accessory, and would ditch these in a heartbeat and with a pirouette to celebrate if I could).
But I’m not going to waste my time on that. Instead, I’m just going to say there are some lovely people out there. And if I didn’t express my thanks properly at the time, because I was knackered and too busy concentrating on not falling over to catch a breath, I hope my grateful smile said enough. But if not – thank you.
You’re bloody lovely, the lot of you.