Saturday, March 17, 2007


I helped a blind man navigate his way through some ridiculous pavement mayhem this morning. They were digging up the place and had put a makeshift fence around some nasty looking holes. I watched this bloke as he caught his cane in the fence, then hurried over the road to lend an arm.

He was very pleased.

Such small acts of kindness go on every day. But there's never anything about it in the papers.

I was chatting with the bloke in our local fish and chip shop last night. He's been in Camberwell for over 30 years and has owned three different businesses. I discovered this 'cos he was asking how long we had been in Camberwell. When I said 3 years he was like "Oh you must like it."

I went on to say we did and that having lived North, South, East and West I found South London to be the friendliest part of the city. "There's the gun crime" I said, "but if you're not in that scene you are very unlikely to get caught up in it." There was a shooting outside the club opposite his chip shop last year. In fact a stray bullet put a small hole in their window! "Those people came from Hackney" he said. Not local. Turned out he used to own the club but in his day it was a restaurant where they had live jazz in the evening.

So there you go. As the football songs (almost) go:

"Oh South London, is Wonderful, Oh South London is Wonderful"

Write that in yer sensationalist press you jounralistic tossers - the world is a terrible place if you want it to be. For every shooting a thousand blind men are helped by strangers to cross the road. I think it's important to remember that...


  1. That's funny, because I've found that my home borough of Hackney is the friendliest part of London. Of course, there's the gun crime. But that's largely carried out by people from Peckham.

  2. Hackney? Don't get me started...

    If you live in Hackney it's ok. Pretty self contained.

    Trying to get there from other parts of London is a nightmare if you don't have a car. Leaving again is even harder (One particular 3 hour night bus journey springs to mind. At one stage the driver got out himself!)

    And Peckham is NOT Camberwell...

    Besides you live in Shoreditch. Dulwich is in the borough of Southwark you know!

  3. Having been the beneficiary of the kindness of strangers, I am always delighted to read things like this. Unfortunately, the world in which I live is a dangerous place, and I can no longer accept offers of help with the openness I used to ...I was mugged by someone who offered "help", so now I'm a lot more careful. But still ...I give thanks for kind people who have, from time to time, rescued me from constructions site overspills and other hazards!


  4. Shoreditch?

    Of course, Camberwell is ease itself to get to.

    Shall we destroy this thread on the kindness of strangers by getting involved in a North versus South brawl?

  5. Damascena - shall I assume you are blind? If so, I cannot really imagine what that must be like...But I think you probably have to have a great deal of courage and motivation to do the sort of things I take for granted.

    Marie - we could argue all day! (Like we used to) BTW my socks are both black, but sadly not a pair...No snot or sick that I am aware of. Of course you live in that other place beginning with S - Stokie! (AKA Islington?)