Mum and I had a small foray to Redfield yesterday. It involved some light thrifting in a couple of charity shops (though I rather annoyingly hesitated to buy a pretty red top in one of the charity shops until after lunch - only to discover it had then sold!!). This was followed by an extremely tasty lunch in Wetherspoons (Thursday is curry day and Mum had been fancying having their sweet potato curry for ages) where we were joined by my nephew and brother-in-law, who were both on fine form, and a rare old time was had by all. My nephew, though only 9, is a real comedian and I foresee a lucrative stand-up career somewhere in his future.
Mum and I then went on to do a spot of shopping in Aldi (I'd been having serious withdrawal from shopping in Aldi after having one as my 'corner shop' for the past eight years,) where I came away with virtually a shipping order of items for £40. We'd had a taxi takes us down to Redfield as the bus journey would be tortuous to say the least and it is only 10 minutes away by car. Whilst we were packing our shopping in Aldi I gave the taxi driver a ring to ask him if he could pick us up again. Unfortunately, he couldn't do it for half-an-hour but as there was a taxi office across the road that wasn't really an issue.
A couple of seconds later a woman came up to us and said she'd overheard our conversation about the taxi and could she offer to give us a lift. Well, we didn't quite know what to say (both of us, it turns out, had been wondering if this was something a bit 'suspect.') Anyway, she looked vaguely familiar to me and she insisted that as it was New Year she wanted to offer an act of kindness, so we very gladly accepted and she brought us (and our huge bags of shopping) all the way home. We did insist on giving her some money to cover the petrol costs - though she really didn't want to accept it. Both of us were stunned that a perfect stranger (though I'm still sure I know her from somewhere) would be so kind and generous with her time (and petrol.)
The whole thing got me wondering about two things: 1) What a sad state of affairs it is when two adult women feel nervous about accepting a kind and genuine offer of help; and 2) I'd like to be able to pass on that kindness somehow to someone else. As I don't have a car I can't offer anyone a lift but, hopefully, I can 'pay it forward' in some other way in the near future. To whoever that woman was, thank you very very much - your unexpected act of kindness went a long way in restoring my faith in human nature.