25 12 / 2011
First and foremost I’d like to wish everybody from wherever you’re reading a very Merry Christmas and I do hope you’ve had an amazing day. You can call this an end to an era, or you can call it a start to something good. Either way, I’ve had an amazing time the past 25 days doing things for people. Today’s good deed is one of the most important; treat yourself.
I’ve got an amazing family who I wouldn’t swap for the world. I spent a couple of hours in work today with workmates who I adore to pieces. The generosity in the gifts i’ve recieved have been quite extraordinary and I am most humbled. The friends in which I’m about to go party with are the greatest any man can ask for. Last, but most certainly not least by any means, the food today has been exactly what you come to expect from the biggest day of the year. Stuffed!
I set this blog up in order to show people how the smallest things can make a huge difference to someone. I could have volunteered in the Oxfam shop for 8 hours a day every day, but that’s not what good deeds are about. Good deeds are things you do not have to go out of your way to do, they are what is built in all of us but we can fail to act upon often due to social awareness and environmental bliss that teaches us not to go and talk to the drunken old man, not to help the kid who’s fallen over; the list goes on. For the majority of these scribings I have hardly done anything out of the ordinary. I have not done anything that nobody could do, the power is in everybody.
I know that a lot of you have been doing your own good deeds and you’ve been informing me about them and the pride I see in all of you is magnificent. It’s what it’s all about, or at least that’s what I’ve discovered. If we all took a second to care for each other the world would be a much better place.
In a number of weeks I have donated to Oxfam, British Heart Foundation, NSPCC, gave a person in need some change on a bus, helped a drunken lad get home, helped a man with his shopping bags, helped an elderly woman with her bags, fed a hungry dog, fed and clothed an amazing homeless man, left money in a kid’s machine, left messages of joy in people’s cards, gave a friend a jacket in the rain, walked a friend home, got a woman home with her shopping, left money on a Kinder Egg, sent my sister a Letter from Santa, signed a petition for AIDS, returned a lost BlackBerry phone, purchased Christmas gifts for the people I love, wrapped a customer’s present, donated old clothes, helped Autistic twins, picked up litter, sent a book to Africa and most importantly I’ve remembered to smile.
It may be the end of my scrobblings but the actions will most certainly still be happening. I have enjoyed this December and look forward to an amazing 2012 with y’all.
Keep smiling, Dean
24 12 / 2011
So after months of preperation and the build up to Christmas, it’s all over. In a couple of hours half the nation will be in bed ready to wake up for the most wonderful day of year. I sit and I blog here in my Spongebob Square-pants and my Superman tee shirt. I’ve finished all my shopping and I’ve just put the last bit of cellotape on the last present I’ve wrapped, all ready for my family and friends. Today has been the day I’ve been looking forward to for a while, 2 years in fact. And this is why…
24 months ago to this very day I was in the most darkest of places for a number of reasons. Some of you who knew me then may recall, some may not. I wasn’t happy with the world, I wasn’t happy with my friends, I wasn’t happy with my education, I wasn’t happy with my past, present, future and, ultimately, I wasn’t happy with myself.
Enlightened the nights grew and I can almost echo the ringing of my ears. I used to head out a lot and find a place that I could go to to make everything go away, a place of my own. I found this place. I visited that place whenever I could. Morning, noon, night. I remember there were a couple days in this one week imparticular where I headed there after midnight and then got the first train home and went straight to college on a very minimalistic life in regards to resting and my health. I wandered the streets a lot, sometimes with music, sometimes with a book that I’d sit down and read and sometimes just with no destination or aim other than to not stop.
It was a bitter cold Christmas Eve, the ice decorated the roads like the white dusting on a cake and the cars hurried on wherever their loved ones where for Christmas. I was in Liverpool city centre by myself, thoughts flowing through my mind about things and relationships. I felt like I couldn’t talk to anybody. Like nobody would understand what I was trying to say. I don’t even think I knew myself what I was trying to say. All I knew was that I held a lot of hatred and grief inside me for things that I wasn’t entirely sure why.
I found myself outside the Adelphi hotel hopelessly shuffling the paths and I headed up Mount Pleasant for nothing imparticular. I passed the usual places and scenary that I’d always noticed until something caught my eye. In the very small entrance of a bulding presumably abandoned lied a small, bearded figure. His eyes were barely distinguishable from the rest of his face and his lifeless posture held a fortune that was that of a distraught being. He mumbled a vocabulary I wasn’t all familiar with but made out to be related to that of spare change. Our nurture in the environment we live in has taught us the ignore these people and at the very most throw what copper you do not need and dart away. Before I’d noticed, I was a couple yards away doing just that. I don’t know why, because I was in a pretty poor financial state at the time, I turned back and gave the man some change.
My experiences with the homeless had never been that large or apparent before and I unintentionally just stared as thoughts and ideas alike raced through my head. Who is he? What is his name? Why is he here? Why is he homeless? What is his story? His pathetic hat sat in front of him with not enough change to even buy a dog some food in and I blurted out the words ‘Are you hungry?’ For the first time he made eye contact with me and said ‘Yes, sir’.
I asked if a burger and chips was enough and he stared through me, puzzled, as if I was toying with him. Next door sits a take-away so I got that order exactly and a bottle of water out of impulse. After returning to the silouette I braved to sit down next to him, allowing him his personal space. I sat and watched, in silence, as he scoffed his food. I didn’t know what to say, I just knew that I wanted to talk to this man.
Alek. That was his name. A Scottish man from Aberdeen. He had loved Liverpool as a child when his family used to come down every year to get the ferry. He’d been a homeless man here for about 18 months. Back in Scotland he had a wife and two children, two daughters. His wife had gotten him a job with her father governing his duties. He said life was amazing. That was until he was informed that his wife was having an affair. He confronted her, he let it slide. A year down the line and it was a different guy. Alek left her and left her the house in search for a new home. After hearing that his Son-In-Law had left his daughter, Alek’s boss and wife’s dad dismissed Al from his job and filed a lawsuit against him. Al lost. He lost his wife, his daughters, his job, his home, his life.
I sat and listened enthusiastically. When you know that somebody is just as genuine as the moonlight. It made me realise a number of things. It made me realise how all my ‘problems’ were never problems at all. This guy had problems. He wasn’t sitting moping about it like I had been since I could remember. And yet all he could speak about people was praise and love. His ribs were bandaged as he said only a few days prior he had been kicked ferociously in his sleep by passersby and his bag of belongings stolen. His hostel only allows you to stay there 7 out of every 28 days. It was Christmas Eve. I didn’t know what to do. I gave him the only money I had left on me which was a twenty pound note and told him to buy himself some things for Christmas. His kindness in offering me some space all this time from the ‘old homeless guy’ was thrown out of the window and he hugged me and thanked me from the only thing he had left, his heart.
I left a different man that day. Alek holds so much in my heart and head for a guy I only spoke to for 40 minutes. I lost all desire for material possessions. I grew gratitude I’d never known before. I started to enjoy life and what I had been blessed with.
Fast forward to 2011. I’ve saw Al a few times around and always stopped for a small chat and gave what I could. And when I set this blog up I had today in mind. I set out to help my friend Alek like he helped me.
I bundled together a variety of things, a Christmas hamper if you will, including a hoodie, jeans, razors, plasters, water, tins, a blanket (he’s a devoted Liverpoodliun) and some teeth cleaning accessories. Late today, I set out to find Alek and where would I find him, but where we first encountered? Bingo.
I don’t want to go into today in too much detail as it’s something I want to hold on myself for a bit longer. But we spoke. He remembered my name. I gave him his gifts. I gave him my company until it was time for the last train for me. He is quite possibly one of my favourite people on the planet. I’m now in a quiet house feeling like if I wake up to nothing tomorrow then all I know is that I’ve made somebody’s Christmas with a couple of things I don’t need. Emotions are high.
Thank you for reading, and Merry Christmas to all. Dean.
PS. If you ever see Alek by Bazooka Chicken by the Adelphi, do give what you can.
24 12 / 2011
Yesterday I had a pretty long shift in work and was pretty much all my day consisted of so I ensured that I wished as many people as I could a very Merry Christmas. Spreading festive cheer is a very spiritual thing and I think it’s mutually uplifting.
Today holds a Christmas Eve special. I’m heading out to do that exactly. Watch this space.
22 12 / 2011
And at 22.20 today it was nowhere to be seen. The scene is set at a dark Thatto Heath train station lit only by the passing buses as they hurry on home and the ancient lighting of the nearby streets. I had only just got to the station and it was deserted apart from a single guy who had clearly had one too many a’drink. I sat down and he was quick to make friends and ask me if I have ‘the right time’. I wasn’t wearing my watch and I didn’t have my phone on me so I apologised and told him I actually didn’t. He was a youngish fellow at a similar time of life as myself. Quickly he engaged in casual conversation asking what I’d been up to, where I’m going and the such. I countered and pursued the conversation and he told me he was trying to make the last train to Hooton on the Wirral and that this train to Lime Street was his only hope.
Not before long he had went round the corner to sit down on a bench and I remained seated at my own and put some music on in my headphones. It’s hard to tell without any form of timekeeping but a good 20 minutes must have past and there was still not any form of train, plane or automobile in sight. By now there was a couple of people at the station; all silent, all avoiding eye contact, all playing on their silly phones and all probably just wanting to go home.
As the old Johnny Cash song goes, I heard the train’a comin’ and as it approached I noticed my new friend was nowhere to be seen. As the conductor jumped onto the platform and the night travellers walked towards the train I asked the conductor to wait a moment and ran (rigidly walked) around the corner to see the poor bugger flat out asleep. I instinctively tapped on his shoulder and he awoken as if he had witnessed a ghost and we both got on the train. He thanked me then sat down not too far away from me. It took him less than one stop before his snoring echoed throughout the carriages. I just hope he is on his way home now and not dreaming on a pulled up train in Lime Street. Au revoir.
21 12 / 2011
And isn’t it ironic? I would excuse myself for quoting Alanis Morissette but then I would realise that I have nothing to excuse myself for. Jagged Little Pill is a beautiful album. But that’s a story for a different day. I was a bit sneaky yesterday and couldn’t recall anything that I’d done for a good cause. So as my days usually go, I was still awake at 4.30am this morning and a good stroll to Asda was very much in order. You know the ones, where you don’t actually need anything in particular but come out with half the shop’s Pringles and Orange Juice.
Well that’s what kind of night it was. Upon leaving I noticed a little helicopter kids machine thing where you sit in it and have a ride for a bit. I used to love those things as a kid, to some degree I still do. I remember me and my brother Carl used to play with the one in Morrisons years ago and one day there was 1 credit in there that somebody had left. Finding that was like Christmas, it really was. So the least I could do, these many years later, was to return that exact favour. May I add to the fact that they were 30p in my day and now they’re a whole pound, preposterous, I succumbed to its calling and put a golden coin in it and watched the LED light activate indicating the chopper’s ready for the next gearing pilot. I do hope that the feeling that I got could be recreated and it’s not just some 55 year old binger that gets it. Budgie the Helicopter, you’re one hell of a guy.
Bringing me to today being the 21st, with just a minor amount of days left ‘til our Jesus’ birthday and we have a couple too many Babyshams at nan’s, I decided to continue and hopefully finish my Christmas shopping. I got a handful of things but I’m not finished yet, Christmas Eve’s gonna be the day for that, sigh. As I got staggered away from my cumbersome train full of diseased shoppers I headed straight home walking through Huyton Village. It was very desolate which was strange being it only 5pm and almost like a ghost town. It was then that a man struggling with a number of bags presumably in double figures dropped one as the handles snapped and his bottles of coke scarpered across the bricks. Instinctively I helped pick them up and then seeing his dilemma I offered him my strong, sturdy Dawson’s Music bag and put my belongings into my manbag, oh yeah. He thanked me and I walked home. Hardly a lifechanger, but it’s the little things.
20 12 / 2011
Another day, another dollar and another day in work for Dean. I’ve recently been receiving Christmas cards off work people and friends and they are a genuinely pleasant gesture no matter how small. I’ve never been too good at giving cards so today I decided to buy a number of them and write a message of inspiration specifically for each member of staff in each. As always, it took almost no time at all, no effort, hardly a penny and anybody can do it. You should.
19 12 / 2011
First and foremost I apologise for my recent lack of blogging since I havent had access to a computer in the past week. I’ve still, however, been trying as hard as possible to keep on top of my deeding.
Going all the way back to last Wednesday being the 14th, I decided I wanted some new vinyl. After just getting into the Christmas spirit, I headed into town and managed to pick up some gems from the Oxfam shop, British Heart Foundation and a couple 7”s from Bernardos. I spent a small 12 pound on LPs altogether and managed to get some Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ella Fitzgerald and Simon and Garfunkel. Everyone is a winner baby that’s true.
Jumping to Thursday, I was in work most of the day and a wonderful woman was being served by my colleague with a lot of shopping. She was elderly and had a stick to assist her walking. We spoke about Christmas and she was throwing these jokes left, right and centre which kind of made me jealous about her quick wit. She attempted to grab her shopping and immediately I asked her if she would like me to carry all her bags for her. She timidly and reluctantly agreed through various methods of appraisal. I asked where she lived and she told me that it was just down the road. Luckily at that time, a good friend of mine was in the car park in his car and I asked if he could drive her down the road with her stuff and we both jumped in. Before you knew it we were at number 31 and she was at her front door. She showed a mountain of gratitude for us both and offered us both money which we both declined.
She’s now my best mate and is in the shop as a regular occurence. Miss Potts, you’re a delightful woman.
Friday the 16th was my lovely friend Aimee’s birthday night out and I met up with a lot of people I don’t see too much anymore and we had a wonderful night of laughs. My friend Liam was heading to the cash machine by himself so I lied and said that I needed cash myself to accompany his icy walk. I also have him one of my jackets for protection in the rain. Love you Liam. Showing appreciation can take many forms, even a little walk.
Saturday evening was my work’s lad’s night out. My friend and bandmate Dan wasn’t going but was in work til 10.15 with me. Seeing as he lives some way away from where I work I told him he could go at 9.50 to catch his early bus and get home a lot earlier but still get paid ‘til 10.15. Small, simple but a reason to smile.
Which brings me to Sunday 18th, yesterday. I woke up in my friend’s flat and was in work in a couple of hours. Rather than get a taxi home or even straight to work, me and my friend Brian decided to walk it. I walked Me, Myself and Bri close to home and thought we’d get a noon McDonalds. It was beautiful. Which brings me back to today. I’ll be right back, I have something good to do.
PS. To everyone telling me about all your good deeds, carry on!
13 12 / 2011
An idea came to me in the wee hours of this morning and today I pursued that conquest exactly. Whilst in work I stuck a 50 pence piece to the front of a Kinder Egg and turned it around in the midst of the basket. To the budding child who is lucky enough to pick that egg out of the 50+ on display, he will have it paid for.
13 12 / 2011
Since recently getting into the festive spirit with just 13 days to go until Christmas Day, I decided I’d send a Letter from Santa to my little sister with a donation of £5 to the NSPCC.
It’s not much but it’s something. A fiver could be the making of somebody being there to answer the phone to a child reaching out for help. All I pray now is that she doesn’t venture to my Facebook and find this page. If so, I’m sorry Em, but it was me.
11 12 / 2011
I’m not really a phone person. I have one as, to be quite honest, it’s the centre source of communication between family, friends and work in the modernised world of technology and general Moore’s Law no matter how poor I am at using it effectively. I got my first smart phone as they seem to be called a couple of months ago very reluctantly as a change to my little Sony Ericsson (God rest his soul). He was like the kid I never had. </emotional>
Today’s deed is more of a technicality rather than a Sunday act of altruism. After what I like to describe as a long hard Saturday of Christmas Shopping in the treacherous conditions of general December commercialism I covered a good friend’s latter half of his shift from work (still on my week off may I add). Once that was out of the way I shuffled home and decided, against my own words, vows and promises that I would venture out with some friends.
The wonderful Tabac was out first stop and within seconds of our eventual fight to be back and bid to be sitting stationary I had found myself a brand new Blackberry. Three main things went through my mind as I noticed its lonesomeness.>
1. The first was that he was all alone with no other friends to keep him warm this Christmas. Nobody deserves that this season.
2. The second was that there was a bit of presumable spilt drink on the couch area and the amazing, polite staff should probably clean that up.
3. The third, final and most delightful in a very self-proclaiming nature is that I knew it was a BlackBerry from the off and I am improving my anti-phone knowledge and limited Cafferz Database as I like to call it so it seems. Go blondie, go blondie.
I did what any soul that’s not possessed by Beelzeboss himself would do and handed it in to the bar and headed back to my glass of fruity red wine. Five minutes had barely passed and a lone stranger approached very reserved and kind of eyed up the area. I waited until eventually he came over and asked if I had seen a phone anywhere and I played dumb at first to question his authenticity and asked what make it was. As he mouthed the word ‘BlackBerry’ I let out a smile and told him it was behind the bar.
Relief oozed out of his gaze and he thanked me so much. He was a bit older than myself and I could just tell he was a really nice guy and would have done the same. He said the phone was his ‘life, pride and joy’ and bought me a pint. It’s funny how a piece of metal can mean so much to somebody. Phones are stolen, lost, damaged and break all the time and how much we rely on them is actually quite amazing. How long could you go without your laptop, your iPod and your phone? If the answer is less than 24 hours then I would advise going to the middle of nowhere for a day with nothing but a coat and some wellies. That, my friend, is an amazing creation you can hold in your hands.
What goes around often comes around and I’m learning that there’s no such thing as a selfless good deed. It seems Joey and Phoebe were right all along.
N.B. This happened in the early hours of this morning. I’m not cheating, bro.