Random Acts of Kindness

Welcome to the coffee garden. It’s Paul here as your barista again this week – offering coffee, tea, biscuits and cake as we sit out in the garden and watch the butterflies in the flowers while we chat. Whatever topics tickle your fancy, we’re eager and waiting. I am honored to be tasked with serving you. So have a seat, relax with a cuppa and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Willow, our host and the owner of the garden, will be joining us as well. Oh, yeah, that’s a picture of me up there – I figured if there’s going to be a few of us here, you’ll need to know what I look like so I can get your refills.

I don’t always dress that fancy, but the photo was taken at Queen’s University the last time I graduated – a few years ago. I actually think that was the last photo taken of me. That tie has quite a story. Our team of six had gone to Beijing for a real project to check for a Canadian Cancer Radiation Machine mfg to see of it would be feasible for them to build a plant there. It was quite a trip and we had a fair bit of free time to get into deviltry. Lots of stories there. We had one woman on our team – Shannon (name changed) – and she decided one day to go shopping. She was just a bit of a thing and we’d agreed to go out in pairs when sightseeing, so she chose me as her guardian. I’m pretty easy going (and big – 6’3” and 240 lbs.), so she dragged me down to the market in Beijing – holy crap! Talk about big and busy – miles and miles of booths all jammed together. You can buy anything there and copies of anything. She decided I needed a tie and helped me pick out this one – hand painted silk. It’s still my favorite. Do you have any pieces of clothing with an odd or funny story behind them? Do tell.

Enough about me, how have things been going for you this week? We have been getting some rain in Ottawa which has finally worked out well for me. Some time ago the roof of the building where I lived sprung a leak, but it would only leak during a downpour. This was terribly inconvenient for me – having water pouring into my room through the ceiling. Thankfully the leak, although a big one, stayed away from my bed and desk and was concentrated in the center of the room. Anyway, the landlord kept trying to fix it and failing. Finally, he managed to get it watertight this week and I could breathe a sigh of relief. I’m glad to have that worry off my mind, now it can rain and I can enjoy it.

Do you have any frustrating fix-it stories? Another cuppa and a biscuit while we chat? Speaking of food, here’s one that will amuse you and warm your heart. We spoke last time a little about my dialysis. There’s an elderly Lebanese woman whose schedule is the same as mine so I see her three times a week at the hospital. She’s very cheerful but doesn’t speak any English beyond “Hello” and “Good-bye”. For reasons beyond my understanding, she has taken a shine to me and brings me in freshly cooked Lebanese food about once a week or so.

The range of food is amazing and she packs it into these large size yogurt containers for travel. It is not food with which I am familiar (mostly) but it is very tasty. This week it was stuffed grape leaves (stuffed with lamb and rice) and a bean soup. There was also a container of spiced rice with chicken pieces in it and finally a tub of some kind of Lebanese desert that was very creamy (like pudding) with a chocolate layer on top. It was ambrosia. She also brings in food for two of the staff – an orderly and a nurse. Neither of them wants the food, so being a bachelor, I have volunteered to take it so they slip it to me during the treatment.

I go to dialysis with one of those reusable cloth grocery bags with a snack and a book and headphones, and I come home with it full of home-made Lebanese food. Quite a deal. I think she feels better if she has something to give and it seems if she doesn’t have any home-made food, she has to give something. So I have received such unusual gifts as a bag of raisins, a half dozen of muffins, a container of hand picked raspberries and once, two bags of chips (crisps in England). She seems to delight in feeding us and I’m certainly grateful. I don’t expect it but am sure happy to have it.

Has anyone ever made you a gift and it seemed like a random act of kindness? Or have you had a chance to try some food from a different culture?Thanks for joining us here in the garden for a cuppa and a biscuit. It’s been a blast as always, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. In closing, have you ever wondered how those fancy scented markers get their smell?

I always have, and now,finally an answer:  Have you come across any funny short videos or stories you’d like to share? I look forward to seeing you again next week. Have another cuppa and a treat. Meanwhile Willow will keep the great posts coming.

If we were having coffee I’d ask  you : would you like another  cuppa, or  a biscuit . I’d  tell you I have really  come to enjoy  these chats  and I’d  love  to here  what you would  tell me , If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/


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