The Gift of Laughter

25 days of kindness – December 24th

It was Christmas Eve, babe. No, not quite in the drunk tank, but in a lovely little pub in the Lake District after a rather busy day.

I spent the morning watching the kiddie-winks in our local church nativity and answering the question “so, Mary, what are you doing now then?” at a rate of 10 per hour. I then successfully iced a couple of Christmas cakes (see featured image), wrapped some presents and cleaned up after Pippin who, with the help of an old bean bag decided to let it snow…

Dog explodes bean bag

When it came to my act of kindness for the day, there was only one thing for it: make a fool of myself for the benefit of others. Using the stickers my mum had bought as a joke, I decorated my face with glitter and diamant├ęs until I vaguely resembled Rudolph in drag, and set off to the pub.

It made my parents laugh and a few fellow punters smile, but the best reaction by far was from a lad I will name ‘Jumpy Jack’. Clearly high on something more than just Christmas spirit, he pointed at me, frowned, then exclaimed, “It’s a reindeer!” and almost fell off his chair from screaming.

I doubt he will remember the unusual encounter come Christmas day, but I hope his friends will be there to remind him!

Only one more sleep now… I had better get to bed otherwise Santa won’t come…



Mary x






Make mine a double

25 days of kindness – December 6th

Day six, il 6 dicembre, and it has to be said, I was looking forward to this act of kindness.

I’d arranged with my Auntie, an EAL tutor, to help with her new 6-year-old Italian pupil. The poor boy appears to be suffering from Selective Mutism, so the hope was that, with my Auntie’s teaching skills and my Italian knowledge, we might at least be able to make some progress with his English comprehension.

After negotiating with my Dad to take his car and deciding against using Google maps (then inevitably getting lost along the way), I arrived at the school just in time for our lesson. Sporting my visitor’s badge with pride, I was led to the reading room where we waited for our pupil… and we waited… until the school secretary came apologetically to inform us that today was his first ever day off sick. Typical.

The secretary thought it might be worth calling home to see if he wanted to come in just for an hour for our lesson. Having had plenty of experience with Italian mothers in the past, I knew there was not a cat in hell’s chance of his mother bringing her feverish child into school for a nanosecond, let alone an hour, but I agreed, had a nice chat with her in Italian and promised to come back again next week.

After another long day of career planning and application writing, I was explaining to my Dad how I’d made him cycle to work for nothing (well, not quite nothing – my Dad is glad of any excuse to ride his bike!) and that I’d yet again flopped in my kindness challenge. Cheerily, he piped up, “Don’t worry, you can do us a favour and take me and the lads to the pub!”. So that, my friends, is exactly what I did.




Mary x