18 April 2015
The Good and the Bad (with no Ugly)
First the Bad.....
I got an email midweek from a very distant family friend of Greg's who lives in the USA. I met her once about 12 years ago when she was over in London but we don't even make contact at Christmas, so my relationship with her since has been virtually non-existent. She did send me an email a few years ago to let me know her father had died, as he had been best man to Greg's father and mother at their wedding, but otherwise little else. The email last week came as a bit of a surprise and even more so when I read she had had to leave America in a hurry and rush to London where her cousin lay seriously ill in hospital with lymphoblastic leukaemia. The hospital were demanding a deposit before they would operate and as she had rushed from home, she had failed to take sufficient means of payment with her, so would I mind lending her the deposit, which she would of course pay me back, as soon as she returned home.
Alarm bells rang with me and just as I was wondering whether to take it seriously or not, Kay rang and I told her. She informed me first that lymphoblastic leukaemia affects children only and, as it is a blood disease, there is no operation involved in its treatment. In any case, I had already worked out that treatment at any NHS hospital would not demand a deposit upfront (if at all, but I'm not certain about whether tourists are expected to pay at some stage). I decided a phone call to Oklahoma would be cheaper than forking out thousands to a scam, so I telephoned the lady in question to discover my suspicions were correct. Her mail had been hacked into and it was a scam. What vile people there are in the world to concoct such lies and wrap it up to make it convincing.... or not so convincing in my case.
Then the Good.....
I took my mother to a large DIY outlet the other day in search of a white washing-up bowl. Her old one was showing signs of old age and she fancied a new one, but it had to be white. The current fashion in washing-up bowls seems to be black or grey or garish red or lime green, but not white. As my aged mother had been unable to walk too far around the store looking for the correct department, I had left her leaning up against a shelf near the entrance while I hot-footed it around the store to check. I had only been gone about 3 minutes, but when I found her again, she was chatting to another customer -a very attractive young black girl, who had seen her struggling to lean against the shelf and had dragged a sun-lounger chair along the aisle over to her to sit her down. It was such a lovely kind thought and we thanked her profusely even though we were now leaving the store empty-handed. I should add that is the second time in a week, a complete stranger has approached my mother and offered to help her. There are good people in the world and you don't always have to go looking for them.
Certainly a week of contrasts.