Claire Black: “She looked confused. I probably did too – maybe she had a pet rabbit?”
STANDING in the supermarket queue the other day, I concentrated on lining up my groceries by order of size and density – with attention paid to the order in which they would be packed into my bag (What? Isn’t that what everyone does?).
Anyway, as I finished, I turned to the woman behind me in the queue. I just happened to notice that she had nothing on the conveyer belt, just two carrots in her hand.
“You can go ahead of me,” I said, wondering why anyone would want only two carrots. She looked confused. I probably did too – maybe she had a pet rabbit?
“No, really, please, you should go ahead of me, you’ve only got two carrots.” I tried not to make that last bit sound judgmental, but I’m not sure I managed it.
She did go ahead, but she looked a bit awkward, as though I was perhaps going to then walk her to her car and help her pack her carrots into the boot before insisting that she give me a lift home, where I could then feed the carrots to the pet rabbit before boiling it. But, actually, I just stood there admiring my neat shopping (weirdo) and hoping that when she was safely on her way, with her car doors locked, she’d see what I’d done as a small act of kindness.
I like them, you see: small acts of kindness. I like having them done to me (a card in the post, a wee bit of chat on a shared bench) and I like doing them unto others.
And I’m not alone. In a YouGov poll published by the Samaritans last week, when asked which small acts of kindness had brightened their day, 56 per cent of Scots said they’d been made to feel better by someone smiling at them (only 28 per cent said someone letting them skip the queue had worked the magic, but I’m not letting that get me down).
These are not difficult acts. They require no money, no significant emotional investment. In trying times (I give you Leveson, Rangers FC, Eurovision) we can do this for one another. Why not?
So from this moment, I’m upping the ante on the old kindness thing. You could too. And then we can share results via Twitter (@scottiesays to find me), hashtag #operationkindness. I think it could be great.
OBVIOUSLY Europe is not on the brink of an economic meltdown and we’re not in a recession worse than everyone thought, as Aga have just launched a cooker that you can control using an app.
Yes, that’s right, you control your cooker by smartphone, laptop or iPad. And if you only have an old Nokia the size of a brick, you can send the Aga a text (I swear I’m not making this up).
“Essentially, you can sync your Aga at the touch of a button” says the press info. Of course, anyone who has ever tried to “sync” anything will know that, essentially, this means you won’t have the right connecting cable, the software will probably crash, breakfast will be ready at midnight, dinner at 3am and everything will be burned to a cinder. Progress.
SPECULATION is rife about which DC Comics character is about to come out. We all know it’s not the superhero known as Northstar, civilian name Jean-Paul Beaubier, because he’s just proposed to his long-term partner Kyle Jinadu in issue 50 of Astonishing X-Men. Delightful.
So who can it be? I’m rooting for Batman. Maybe he’s been nursing a crush on Commissioner Gordon for all these years?
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South