Coronavirus Diary 72: Being a Good Samaritan to the living and having a hot drink with the dead.

One of the things I really miss about being Excluded and not able to work as well as Shielding alone is being able to help people. I really really miss it. I know I still help lots of people from my chair but like everything in life, things are different if you do them in person.

A week or two ago I had a particularly miserable day having sat in a freezing house for too many days in a row I went out for a walk to warm up and about 3 miles out met a homeless man who was sheltering under one of those modern and rather useless bus stops with a roof and a back wall and that was it. He only had an old mauve blanket and it was well below zero, his face was a deeper shade of purple than his blanket. I don’t have much to give away to anyone these days but gave him my old coat as I felt so sorry for him. I’ve been generously gifted a second hand coat and indeed a new one so had been trying to give this to a charity shop though the two I visited said it was too tattered for them.

My walks sometimes go to muddy or messy places and I wouldn’t risk even a donated coat out there lol and sometimes you just want to feel comfy in your old things even if they are falling apart. It totally made his day and honestly only me and a homeless person would be seen dead in that coat. It meant though that I had to walk 4 miles back without a coat (I’m not going to ruin my walk after 2 days of newspaper interviews) by not finishing the route.

By chance a lady in a car had seen what I’d done and a mile or or so down the road offered me a lift but off course my mask was in the coat pocked so instead she got me a free Costa Hot Chocolate. I went and sat on my favourite bench in an old cemetery. All was icy and it was still about -2 but the bench was dry and in the sun it actually felt warmer than at home and I mused what a crappy old time it is to put it mildly. I must have sat there for an hour, I almost got up part way through as the shadow of a tall stone cross moved across and made my legs and feet cold but it moved after 20 minutes.

You have to be sat someone a long time for a grave stone shadow to move across a bench. I thought how horrible the world is when I would give away my coat whilst all those people on furlough let the guy freeze and I chatted away to Johnny and Alison. I’ve chatted to them a lot and remember having a drink with Johnny on May 1st as he died on May 1st 1752. I didn’t think I’d still be coming here for Alison’s anniversary on the 9th February 1756 but I shall.

I don’t really know anything about Johnny and Alison except she was faithful. I imagine him being a farmer or a blacksmith whilst she is always dressed in a pinny and has an old fashioned broom and saying how Johnny deserves to be paid more…. I’m quite into it but I realise I have spent more time with them this last year than everyone else alive on this planet put together.

That’s a bit sad isn’t it out of 7 or 8 billion people to have spent more time with 2 people who died 270 years ago. As much as I think of them, I wonder what they’d make of me coming to them.

I couldn’t really be bothered to get up in the end as I was bizarrely comfy but I realised I must have been there for ages as my boots had totally defrosted the ground and were now in an cm of mud and the bench was rocking as I had melted the soil under one of the legs. Also the half of me that wasn’t in the sun was freezing and I had a long walk home in just my top. I kept thinking out of what I own and apart from my falling apart home, I think it would be hard pushed to value all my belongings at more than £3-£4k (I’m a very low maintenance sort of person lol) and I gave that man my old £30 Asda coat so maybe 1% of my ‘estate’.

Yet someone like Rishi Sunak the government chancellor whose family has hundreds of billions of pounds can’t see fit to give me £30 out of the taxes I’ve paid. It’s only a guess but 1% of Rishi’s money would likely be countless 10’s of millions and he would notice its loss a lot less than me in the ice with no coat or way of affording a replacement.

I’m going for another walk now and look forward to some kindly multi-millionaire stopping their limo sorting me out not for any particular reason but just because they can and hopefully when I get back I will be able to send you £10k each on Paypal!

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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1 Response to Coronavirus Diary 72: Being a Good Samaritan to the living and having a hot drink with the dead.

  1. What is your postal address?

    Like

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