Although not in the same league as Lucy Kellaway’s recent trauma, and resulting life affirming experience (How a thief gave me 10 reasons to be grateful), my newly acquired torn calf muscle has led to unexpected kindness from strangers.
As I have limped around a sometimes hostile (or frequently indifferent) London I have come across instance after instance of help and thoughtfulness. My first experience was a ticket inspector at the entrance to my train station. Instead of his usual approach of not even bothering to make eye contact, this time as I struggled to retrieve the ticket from my pocket, he rushed forward to open the automatic gate for me. Later on, as I crept at snail’s pass a red London bus waiting to begin its journey, I asked if they were going my way. The driver’s initial response was a rather shirty, ‘this isn’t a bus stop you know’, but after seeing my painfully slow limping progress (painful and slow), she relented and invited me on board.
Friends and acquaintances at work have also expressed great concern as they see me leaning heavily on my walking stick. And even when they discover the injury was sustained during a veterans football match, and their initial laughter has died down, they still ask what they can do to help.
All in all a very positive feeling which has gone some way to ameliorating the stinging pain of the injury itself.