I’m humming Gloomy Sunday, by Billie Holiday, even though it’s actually a wet Bank Holiday Monday, when I notice, in a dingy, covered alcove near Paddington Station, some unattended bags. No one around though. Curious, I look a little more closely. The hand-written labels invite ‘Homeless friends’ to enjoy the contents, adding, ‘Utensils included’. That’s nice, I think, taking a photo. I notice fresh fruit on top of other assorted comestibles, and walk on.
A few metres later, I stop, then double back, remembering that I’d passed a homeless guy in a doorway not far from the alcove. I will go and give him a heads up on the free eats. But as I’m about to pass the bags in the alcove, I am surprised to see he’s already there, We nod. – I was just coming to tell you about these -, I say, bending down, to read a label out loud. ‘Love, Alice (Taiwan)’ – Isn’t that kind? The homeless man replies, – Oh yes I know, it’s great. She comes every week. We look out for it..
Another man, walking by, stops and asks me for a fag. Sorry I don’t smoke. He then asks the first guy if he can have some of the food. First guy says yes. All smiles, I leave them and I walk on to the train station, thinking about someone I don’t know.
Tony Blair has likened Jeremy Corbyn’s brand of politics to that of Alice In Wonderland. But, to me, they seem more like those of Alice (Taiwan). IE: Compassionate and caring, the types of words that have become unfashionable amongst politicians, of late, replaced by ‘pragmatic’ and phrases like ‘difficult decisions’, as they push more and more people into poverty. So, on behalf of the hungry, the voiceless and vulnerable, for making this wet Bank Holiday Monday just that little bit less gloomy, and a little more frabjous, – Thanks Alice, much appreciated. Love, Homeless Friends (London)
As I wait for my train, amongst Notting Hill Carnival comers and goers, I flash on ‘Utensils Included’, and a delayed, tingly rush of warmth sweeps over me. I’m glad I stopped to look at the bags, curious. And curiouser..