Saturday, 24 July 2010

The kindness of others

Last night I had some good friends for dinner. I was giddy to see them, excited to cook and hang out and gossip and hear about their lives and all that jazz. The buzz that comes with seeing people you care about and wish you saw more of. I'd prepared the thai sweet potato soup; the Italian chicken cacciatore dish (yes I was mixing my menus up from all over the whole damn world, but hey, they are tried and tested recipes so you can't go wrong) was waiting to be baked and I'd got in lots of lovely soft drinks. The others were bringing dessert, nibbles and wine, bless them. A few arrived but one more had to come - so I offered to collect her at the station. (A ten min walk away, but 3 min drive). One mate came along for company. Husband was working, Sproglet was being entertained by another friend who is on his mental wavelength - they were playing kick in the garden, the tomato sauce was reducing under the watchful eye of another mate. All good.

I collected my friend and then popped to the garage to get ice. I was hankering for a watered down Pimms - it is the drink of summer - and to me, it doesn't feel like liquor. But we had run out of ice - and if there is one thing Pimms needs - along with cucumber, mint and apple if you are picky - is ICE.

So I stopped at the petrol station to get it. There was a big freezer thingy saying 'ICE.' I only had £2.50 left. Utterly broke - so I was holding this massive bag of dripping ice in a long queue, thinking, please god let it be less than the cash have in my hand. £2.99 flashes the till. So I leg it back to car, my friend gives me her wallet and I pay the remaining 50p. I dash back, throw the ice bag on Sproglet's car seat and off we go. We were talking, and laughing and when I drove in there was nothing behind me - so I pulled out. Crunch.

Not again.

Please god, let me not crash - AGAIN. Seeing as I have had two accidents since I started writing this blog - oh and a scratch episode.

I looked back, the car looked ok. But then I saw a serious looking guy walking towards his BMW. He came over and I got out. I had scratched his bumper - a good gash. Plus he pointed out, I had cracked it. My car has a scratch - but I could live with it. My friends got out and we all chatted - the man's girlfriend came across out of the garage and surveyed the damage. I gave him my name, my number, my address and said that I hoped we could resolve it without having to go through insurance etc. He said he'd be in touch - and I burst into angry hormonal tears. My frigging pregnancy head. The day before I'd bought a ticket for a car park and forgotten to leave it in the car window and so earned myself a ticket. Great. Day before that I left the house with no keys and had to get Husband out of the shower to give them to me. I just can't seem to get it together.

But being broke and annoyed and hormonal, I was teary and apologetic and frustrated. Man was nice and said he'd get the 'boys at work' to look at it. Him and his partner/wife/girlfriend told me not to worry. But I did. I came back in tears and then got Sproglet to bed, worried to tell Husband, worried what it would cost.

My friends all calmed me, the two who were with me, saying that he seemed a nice man, not out to screw me for cash etc. So I served up the soup (went down well) and then the main (everyone a bit stuffed on crisps and startet by now) and we were all chatting round a candlelit table when my phone went.

It was BMW man. Turns out his name is Phil. Phil Ward. He told me that next week he is doing a skydive jump, to raise money for charity and asked me if I had heard of 'Just Giving.' I said I had - it is an online charity service wheer you donate to people who are doing sponsored stuff. He replied was doing it for cystic fibrosis. He asked me if I would kindly donate to his charity and then we would forget all about the scratch - he owned a paint store and he'd get his work to sort it. I was bowled over. I never expected such generosity. I was so relieved, and bless him, he only asked me to donate what I could afford. We chatted about how he hates heights and how mad he was to jump and I took down his name and promised to donate. And I did, this morning. I discovered that like me, Phil has a son. His son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was 6 weeks old. He is now 14 and was only expected to live to 15. But with the charity's support he should live to 40 - hopefully longer.

Phil Ward is brave and kind. I only met him for 5 minutes and probably looked a bit barmy for 3 of those minutes. But he took pity on my pregnancy brain and did a lovely thing. If you fancy paying it forward - if you read my blog regularly and enjoy it - go on, give to nice Phil:

And who knows, maybe someone, somewhere, unexpectedly will do something pretty lovely for you.


Chaos said...

Done! :)

Thanks for the chance to share in such a fabulous cause.

(And I am interested in the Thai sweet potato soup too. Intriguing. May have to do a google search for a recipe and try it out :)

Crummy Mummy said...

Chaos - Thanks so much. Really appreciate it.
Thai sweet potato soup:

Chop 500g of sweet potatoes and half an onion (for the record I always double this entire recipe). Fry in a little oil with 1tsp grated ginger, 1tsp brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of Thai green curry paste. Add 500 ml of stock (I use chicken) and 100ml of coconut milk (half fat is good). Simmer for about 20 mins until spuds are soft and then blend in blender. Chop some fresh coriander on top. (I always use the whole tin of coconut milk as I use 1kg of spuds). Enjoy.

A said...

Restores your faith in the kindness of strangers. Have donated.

Soup sounds yummy! x

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great guy.

Done, just a little, but better than nowt.

And well done you on getting a bit of work, hope it is enough to keep you going.


Jane said...

Donated! What a great guy! Pregnancy hormones are awful, I cried buckets.

Crummy Mummy said...

I just want to sincerely thank everyone who has donated. Phil texted me to thank us all and wished me all the best the baby. Bless him. It just proves that good deeds do get rewarded. The fact he is doing this for his son makes it resonate all the more. Blog readers - I am so pleased and grateful you sponsored him. I wish good things for you all.

Chaos said...

Phil deserves good things, he sounds fabulous. You deserve good things too CM!

Guess what I just had for dinner? Yes, Thai sweet potato soup. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe. It's great, so fast and easy. I am not sure if I'm using the same variety of sweet potato/kumara, but I figure it's all going to work out ok regardless.

Agree with Jane re: pregnancy hormones. I remember being found sobbing in a ball on the floor by the pantry... because the potatoes weren't ready by the time the beef pie was cooked! I was truly devastated. Ha.

The Girl Who said...

Wish I could've given more! What a sweet guy! Yay Phil!