Coronavirus Diary 85: Living by example.

It is surprising how often in life how often synchronicity happens.

Last Saturday I set off for the East End of London to take some photos and do a little research for the new book that I am writing on every day Victorian era people who lost their lives whilst saving the lives of others.

It was a very cold and increasingly windy morning as I found myself all the way over in Limehouse before 9am and one way or the other ended up walking through Stepney, Bow, Mile End, Bethnal Green, Hackney, Shoreditch and Norton Folgate.

If you’ve never heard of most of these places, don’t worry as they are not places tourists visit and in fact are rarely places those in London visit unless they have a reason to.

Whilst nosing around between memorials at Bethnal Green I came across a homeless chap. He has no family, they having been murdered and committed suicide and he is only 14 or 15 years older than myself.

He asked if I had any money so I could buy a newspaper he was selling in the attempt to raise enough funds so that he might live in a hostel for a while. Of course I said yes that I would buy a copy but then I got my wallet out and it only had 3 pennies inside. Forgetting I have been #Excluded without any help or support for 103 weeks, of course I was carrying no money. In fact a part of me was happily surprised to have even 3 pennies.

I’ve always given as much as I can to help the homeless and those in need, I’m pretty sure I have posted about it several times. Maybe it is because I always talk to anyone and everyone regardless of how well they or I am doing in life. Most people I meet are shocked and horrified to learn of the situation I’ve been put in and then they singularly fail to help in any way at all.

I’m not one of these people so knowing someone from overseas had sent me an anonymous financial gift to help me out just a few days earlier, I went to a cash machine and got out what I could even though I am likely poorer than a good 90% of the people in London.

How sad that it takes someone in my position to help when in reality, we should both be being helped by the government, country and the millions of people who have been helped through these hard times.

He was touched I wanted to remember him with a photo and he has money for a room for a bit now. What he doesn’t know however is that he was the only person I spoke to all week so I was grateful too.

This is how you help people Oliver Dowden

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 several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. 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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4 Responses to Coronavirus Diary 85: Living by example.

  1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

    Very kind, I hope the chap managed to get into a hostel for the night. I was out exploring in parts of East London last weekend, I’d love to delve into the history of the area when time allows. I forget where I was ( Northern lass let loose with a day travel card ) but I came across a striking stone memorial of two joined hands that I’m meaning to look up. Your book sounds fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh where you from originally Helen. I’m from there too a long time ago. It sounds like you were at Three Mill Island which is another potential post I may write about as I went there a month ago. It is actually going to feature in my next book also about some brave but unfortunate men who were overcome by deadly gases whilst trying to save a colleague down an old well. It’s an incredible memorial so I will try and post about it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ThingsHelenLoves says:

        Yes it was Three Mills, I looked it up after I commented and fell down the rabbit hole. So the afternoon jobs list lives to fight another day, but now I know! I’m fascinated by that part of London; historically and how it has changed. I’m originally from Newcastle but I left when I married a soldier and never looked back.

        Liked by 1 person

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