It is highly unusual for me to blog about something non dolly or mylittlecustoms.com related, however, something happened today which really shocked me and made me think.

My Grandad is currently in hospital. This morning he called me asking if  could pick up a few things in town for him as everyone else in the family is severely snowed in. My daughter is very poorly today, tucked up in bed with a vomiting virus and so I had a hour’s window to rush into town, get the bits and drop them up to the hospital before my husband had to leave for work.

I headed into Barnstaple which was packed with hundreds of people doing their christmas shopping. The temperature guage on my car had read -1 degree so it was certainly very cold! As I rushed to the first shop on my list, I passed a homeless chap sitting in a doorway. That is nothing unusual, however, what struck me was that he had bare feet. Bare feet in this weather?!

I carried on but couldn’t shake him from my mind so decided to make a quick diversion to our branch of Millets to see if they had any blankets for sale. They had none in stock but asked who it was for, a child or someone else as a gift? I laughed and feeling  like a total plonker said it was for a man I had seen sitting in the high street that had bare feet. The chaps behind the counter couldn’t believe it and quickly grabbed me a pair of socks for him to use. I was really touched and thought, hey, hang on, maybe I am not completely mad after all!

On the way back up the road, I passed another outdoor shop and grabbed a fleece blanket and some hand warmers.

As I was heading back towards where I had seen the man, I started to doubt myself, I felt like a complete idiot – what if he didn’t want any help? Had I imagined it? I half expected to see him snug and warm in a sleeping bag with a hot coffee being helped by a local charity or something but as I reached him, he was just the same, sat quietly, not hassling anyone with completely bare hands and feet.

Loaded with M&S shopping bags and looking like every other christmas shopper on the street, I cannot tell you how ridiculous and embarrassed I felt as I stopped to chat to him – he was a really lovely man and seemed genuinely surprised that I had bought him a blanket. He told me that he couldn’t fit any socks or shoes on as his feet were too swollen, they looked so cold and sore. Whilst I was chatting to him and polietly declining his offer of getting under the blanket with him (LOL) I noticed people were looking at me like I was a complete fruit loop. I couldn’t believe it. It made me so cross!!

Now, I am normally one of those people who walks on past, shakes my head when someone asks me for change and hurries off. Yes I buy the Big Issue occasionally but I am by no means a “Do-Gooder”. If it hadn’t been for his bare feet I would probably not have stopped or even given him a second glance either. I would have said to myself “oh its ok, someone else will help him”.

Today for the first time in my life, I was that someone else.

I am not sure why I am writing this blog post, perhaps just to vent about the way the other people made me so angry but there it is.

The only thing I regret is that I didn’t ask his name.

xxx

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