Some progress: Roald Dahl and a Good Deed

There’s been some progress. But not loads.

I researched Roald Dahl

…by going on this authoritative website

This was brilliant! Loads of interesting information, and even recorded interviews with the man himself!

A couple of takeaway thoughts –

  1. RD says he wouldn’t have been able to write stories for children if he hadn’t had any. I have yet to reproduce. Should I wait to write?? Or should I impregnate myself in the name of literature? Or, should I, like RD, write darkly humorous tales for adults until the happy day comes for my own little (appropriately timed) pitter patters to inspire me?
  2. RD takes advice from Hemingway about writing – stop when it’s going good, so you don’t have to face going back to a numb page.
  3. RD wrote from 10-12 pm – hurrah! I can be a night owl and still achieve! I’ve been worried for a while about being notoriously dysfunctional before midday… now it all seems my concerns were unfounded.
  4. RD does say he keeps his bum on the chair for the full 2 hours every night, whether he’s getting anything done or not. I need to start committing this level of discipline.
  5. RD’s face doesn’t look like how I imagined… he still looks pretty cool, but I must say a tad weird/scary. I suppose that makes sense.

I done a Good Deed.

On Tuesday, I was hurrying along (late) to meet a friend for a Jazz Dance class. Behind my office there is a little shortcut to the bus stop and I was scuttling up the cobbles at top speed.

A woman was lying on the steps of a small, closed building a woman. I glanced at her; her eyes were closed and there was a bottle of wine in a plastic carrier bag a couple of metres from her. Categorising her as “drunk tramp lady” I kept walking. A man behind me also glanced at her, and kept walking.

For some unknown reason, I turned back – just in case y’know.

I lightly patted her arm, upon which she blearily opened her eyes.

  • ME: “Erm are you ok?”
  • LADY: “gjhkg rghr mmmm no”
  • ME: “Sorry, what did you say?”
  • LADY: “no sdfds jhgf nf”
  • ME: “Have you hurt yourself”
  • LADY: “kajhhdf yes jh”
  • ME: “Pardon? Have you got a sore arm? Do you need to go to hospital?”
  • LADY: “bfghgfh yes jhj go private”
  • ME: “Ah ok. I’ll go see if I can find some help. Are you from Scotland?”

As it was, the lady explained she was from Glasgow – which many will confirm is a beautiful friendly city, abundant with drunken crazy ladies.

It seemed clear to me the lady had had a few drinks (ref. wine bottle) and had slipped and fallen on her arm, which she was holding out stiffly at a weird angle. She was also talking strangely, which I put down to the effects of alcohol.

I’m telling this calmly, but at the time I was very flustered and stressed, being unsure of what The Right Thing To Do was, and whether I was going to be bottled by a drunken Glaswegian lady.

I frantically ran around the corner and yelled to a nearby taxi, explaining there was a lady who was unwell. The taxi man only took cash, so I ran ran to get money whilst pointing out the taxi to Lady.

I haven’t the foggiest idea how to get round London, despite living there for 5 years, so we were at the mercy of the taxi driver to take us to the nearest hospital. Meanwhile, I awkwardly made (one-sided) conversation with Lady, who was very friendly and kept thanking me profusely and apologising and asking to go private (unfortunately, I wasn’t sure how to oblige this request, never having ‘gone private’ myself). When we finally arrived at the hospital, she flat refused for me to pay and flung her handbag towards me. I rooted around in it, feeling very uncomfortable and pulled out a loose £10 note for the driver. She got out the taxi with some difficulty, her arm still very stiff, and her bag fell so that loose change went flying. The sweet taxi driver picked up every coin, to the last penny.

We made our way into the hospital reception, where poor Lady collapsed into a waiting chair, because she was feeling very dizzy and sick by this point. I went up to the desk to explain to the receptionist that I had a poorly lady who had hurt her arm and felt sick. The receptionist said we had to go to A&E which was out the door and in another building or they couldn’t help. I went back to Lady but by this point she was refusing to budge because she was so dizzy. In the end, the receptionist helped me support Lady into a wheelchair – which bizarrely couldn’t be pushed, only dragged behind me, so I was forced to walk backwards. I set off, dragging Lady, and found the entrance to A&E, Unfortunately, the automatic doors didn’t work so I had to try and hold both doors open with one hand, and pull the chair through with the other. This was impossible. Luckily a passerby came and held the door open. Even with two hands, there was a tiny ridge in the floor of the doorway, which was enough to tip the chair when I tried to get it through. In the end, both the Passerby and I had to lift the chair over said Tiny Ridge to get in. Finally at the desk, the Receptionist No.2 put her face to the desk to squeeze under the glass window and ask whether the Lady had been to this hospital before. When I explained Lady was a poorly stranger who was dizzy and had a sore arm, she was immediately full of sympathy and efficiency. She came round, said thank you and that they’d look after Lady now, and that I could go. Lady cried “Aye! Go Hooome!” and so I departed my lady, feeling still torn and worrisome, now that we’d come so far.

After telling this story to friends, it transpires that the poor Lady had probably had a stroke, hence the strange talking and stiff arm (yes I know, I felt awful). Which seems so sad, and frightening, that you can have a stroke in the centre of London and fall unconscious, only to be ignored by passersby and labelled a drunken tramp. I felt guilty and ashamed, and immensely glad that I had gone back.

I am not usually a Doer of Good, preferring to stay apathetic and in my own bubble. This is probably my first Good Deed ever. However, the high of Helping is addictive.

Later that evening, I heard the clink of a glass bottle and a woman’s yelp.

“Are you alright??!” I immediately cried out.

She’d stubbed her toe on a beer bottle.

Maybe I could become the next Superwoman.


8 thoughts on “Some progress: Roald Dahl and a Good Deed

  1. 😀 I wonder if I would have been as helpful towards the lady as you’ve been. really awesome of you 🙂
    + good voice for the sunday night blues, impressed you managed to get your beatbox sidekick to appear on the video!

  2. Definitely an awesome deed Wujek!

  3. Not all drunks are from Scotland, I have not touched alcohol for 7 years now. Even though we are rapidly heading towards independence the fellow Scots who reside in Londons doorways alleyways or anyways still have access to the NHS which you can obtain by dialling three nines on your cellular device.
    I know that some think in Scotland we still watch Coronation st. in black & white and Eina Sharpell is alive and well still drinking with Edna, the talkie talkie device still has a winding handle and we ask to be connected to the next ginger haired, kilted mannie name Hamish by 3 numbers, getting someone to hospital by ambulance is quicker and cheaper than a taxi.
    A London chap who died in the back of a Black cab still was taken on a unwanted tour of the back streets of Westminster and had the pleasure of two of the cities painted ladies, I bet the taxi drivers was pissed when he couldn’t get his £200 fare from him…….I believe he is still trying to sue the dead guys estate……

    But saying that your an Angel, you need a medal and back stage passes to a Justin Bieber… a 1 Direction……… decide, if you ever get recognised for our gallantry…….do females do gallantry or is it gallantess?

    • Haha no offence meant to the Scottish! 🙂 I lived in Bonnie Edinburgh for 8 years growing up, my sister was born there, and a large number of my friends hail from Glasgae. Are you Scottish Pete? Whereabouts are you from? And good on you for not touching the devil’s cup for 7 years!! Wish I could say the same…!

      Yeah I had a total dilemma about whether to phone an ambulance, I think I should’ve done in retrospect, but at the time I was a total headless chicken!

      And why thank you very much, I think I’ll print that message off and take it to my next Belieber pilgrimage… I’ve lost all music street cred now haven’t I? 🙂

      Loving your comments, can’t believe someone who isn’t my captive Facebook audience is actually reading my blog. 🙂

      • Unfortunately not Scottish by birth but have lived here all of my adult life so I have been told that its good enough lol. I always like reading other peoples blogs, allows me to steal ideas that I wished I had thought of myself…….no only joking, that would be copyright theft and that would be illegal now wouldn’t it. 🙂

        So are you a Daydream Belieber? What you have to ask yourself, did you have music street cred to start with? 🙂 Most of my music love is country, old school and new, I don’t have boots or a hat, I don’t line dance, thats for the people who only think they like country music such as Billy Ray Cyrus Achy Breaky Heart and Steps.

        If it doesn’t have songs about breakups, death, divorce, affairs and dying siblings it ain’t country.

        So have you donned your Super Woman outfit again recently? I was stationed in London for 2 years in the RAF, I used to go on leave from Kingscross, one early morning I come across a guy with Downs Syndrome having a fit and people were just walking past him and I knelt down to assist and a woman who worked there pulled me away and told me he always did this and wasn’t worth the bothering with, he had stopped fitting and I put him in the recovery and then another guy joined me to help, I phoned 999 for an ambulance and they came and took him away. I reported the woman to officials and I got a letter back saying that staff cannot intervene in matters like this. So much for helping your fellow man, he types while watching zombies being slaughtered.

        I am still on holiday so I am allowed to watch DVD’s, drink coffee and eat oaty biscuits in the middle of the day, but Monday will soon be here and life will start again, but until then, life is at a slow pace, yawnnnnn


      • Hello! Sorry for the late reply, I haven’t yet been able to sit down to the blog more than once a week… I know, one should post new stuff everyday. But that reduces the amount of time to go off and do things to blog about!

        When I started this blog, I didn’t think about reading other people’s blogs – it was just me, me, me. Actually my whole blog is me, me, me.
        But since starting, I’m coming to think that actually blogging is a whole community thing, where you listen as well as speak.
        Sorry, that sounds totally cheesy – but what I’m saying is, I am enjoying reading other people’s blogs and talking to people via comments and both of these are pleasant surprises!!

        OK I don’t want to be labelled as a crazy teenage chick who wants Justin B’s babies. I just like a couple of his songs, and it took me a while to realise this made me less cool!
        Haha no I suspect I never had any music street cred – I only listen to Magic.FM

        When you say you like ‘new’ country, does that include… wait for it… Taylor Swift??? I love her. Another poppy shiny singer yes I know, but remember this conversation started with Kate Bush! 🙂 and Taylor just go through a lot of breakups, poor thing.

        No, I haven’t done any more good deeds, after my brief trial I’ve gone back to being a prematurely bitter apathetic Generation Y overanalytical narcissist. Which, to be fair, does not preclude me doing good deeds – it’s just hard to know what to do, y’know?? Maybe I should push an old lady over, just so I can help her back up again.

        Your story about the poor guy having a fit is crazy, you can never predict how people will act – good for you for helping the poor man out.

        By the time you read this, I’m guessing the holiday feeling will be a far away memory, drowned out by the noise of this week – and the hope for the weekend. Friday woohoo!!!!!! Got any plans?

      • Hiya, yes you are correct about blogging is a community thing and just like a community most people are nice, there are a few dicks (male as well as female) there are your supply of nutters, pervets, creeps, stalkers etc, the good thing about them is that unlike ‘real life’ you can block them lol. What I find difficult is the lack of body language so you become very good at reading between the lines.
        Technically I am still on holiday but I need a week tonwind down, if you have read soje of my posts on you can read why.
        Yes your write its Friday and I am suppose to be going to Arbroath to fix a mates computer, he is having email problems, I wonder what mood he will be in as he went to London to watch England v Scotland, as he was supporting Scotland there will be tears on his pillow and pain in his heart.

        Which leads me to the love of country, Taylor Swift, yes poor thing, cracking voice. My fav at the moment is Gretchen Wilson, look on YouTube for one of her songs Red Neck Woman, its one of the best on her album. The new stuff has to me special, I was introduced to Johnny Cash at a early age, my step father is one of his biggest fans, so from age 11 JC was played in the house as well as other country themes, then my auntie Betty who died a few months ago played a mix of 60’s and selected country, as my siblings and I stayed with auntie Betty quite a bit before my mother kicked my drunken and violent father out the house, the influence of all types of music brings me to the point now…….

        If you sneaked up behind an old lady, make sure she looks on the obese side so at least she will have some padding so she wont break her hip or isn’t incontinence, last thing you want is to sit for 4 hours with an old wifey moaning and smelling of pee. 😀

        Well time is moving on its 02.23. It you would like to email me you can send me an email from the contact page on that way you dont publish your email address and end up spammed. 😀

        Night Night.

        Pete =)

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