Those Unexpected Kindnesses.

Those unexpected acts of kindness lift one’s heart and have a worth far in excess of their monetary value. Last weekend I was in receipt of not one, not two, but three of these beautiful acts of kindness. Happy me!

Last Saturday was one of dreadful weather with Storm Dennis roaring over the country giving us gale-force winds and torrential rain. We had to travel to Dublin, a 320Km round trip, as I was giving a talk at the National Botanic Gardens and decided that it would be safer to go by train. This brought us to Dublin well ahead of time but we had time to go round the shops – country people up to the big smoke for a day! – and a lunch at our leisure.

View to house
Mount Congreve Gardens in Waterford were the  subject of my talk.

Despite the frightful weather, there was a very good attendance at the talk – far bigger numbers than could have been expected on such a day. It was an appreciative audience and the talk went well.

Afterwards, there is always a bit of chat with friends and acquaintances, and a lady (Liz) came to me with a posy of a very pretty snowdrop which she had brought home from a holiday in Scotland. It was an especially good form of the common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, which had strongly green foliage – as compared to the more regularly grey-green – and flowers marked with similarly strong green. She gave them to me as she thought I might like to grow them in our garden. How kind and how thoughtful to have brought these with her on her journey from Co. Westmeath. They will be planted in a spot where I can enjoy them in future years and they will be a reminder of this lady’s kindness.

Galanthus nivalis Liz Ross (1)
Those very pretty snowdrops from Liz

Mary then came over to me, carrying a pot of marmalade and a pot of blackcurrant jam and told me that “a lady from Sligo” had brought them with her for me and hoped I would enjoy them. Unfortunately, I have no idea who this lady is and would love to know so I could thank her. What thoughtfulness and kindness!

Jam pots
All the way from Co. Sligo!

And then, as we were organising ourselves to get a taxi to take us back to the train station, Pat and Ann insisted they would give us a lift. They live nearby and this was taking them away from home and would leave them with a return journey through busy streets – there was a soccer game in Dalymount Stadium that afternoon and traffic was dreadful and, to add to difficulties, the roads running alongside the river, Usher’s Quay and Victoria Quay, were flooded and three lanes of traffic had to squeeze in turn into the centre of the road to get past. I feared for their car but they dismissed any worry and continued. Their lift allowed us to get an earlier train than expected and meant we were home an hour earlier, something really appreciated at the end of a long day. Pat and Ann deserve a medal for actions above and beyond the call of duty – even above and beyond the call of kindness – and their actions were deeply appreciated.

It is wonderful to meet such people and those unexpected kindnesses make life so much more enjoyable and happy.  Many thanks!


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