Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Good Deeds Done in Threes
Whoever programmes the pedestrian crossing by the Salisbury has split Green Lanes in two. You wait for the green man and the beeping noise to cross to the middle, then wait there for the green man and more beeping to cross to the far side. I was caught out the first time: seeing the green man and hearing the beeping I assumed I was good to go right across. I leapt back onto the traffic island as an oncoming car with the right of way braked and swerved.
The driver was ever so pleased, nicely!
Yesterday a blind man next to me reacted to people playing chicken and to the beeping coming from the far side and stepped off the kerb. I put my arm across him. 'No, stop! Those people are being naughty, and that's the ringy-loolah noise from the far side only.'
Good deed number one.
On the down escalator at Victoria a man with tufty hair and a wide-load scarlet rucksack wasn't paying attention, didn't step off at the bottom and stumbled back into the elderly woman directly in front of me. I clasped her by the shoulders to stop her falling.
'His fault,' she hissed at his retreating back.
Good deed number two.
And walking along Upper Street I was able to help a woman desperately in need. She was in a brown municipal coat, lurid trainers, wearing a scuffed laminated name badge: Brenda M - Islington Council: Education.
'Sorry to interrupt,' I said. 'But I just overheard what you said to your colleague. Please, nobody is ever, ever in "dialogueious relations" with anyone. They're simply "talking to them".'
Writing about the beeping sound at crossings reminds me of the time I was showing some tourists the Royal Opera House foyer and an American woman asked me,
'I've been wondering - my first time over here - what is that beeping noise at intersections for?'
'That's to let blind people know that it's safe to cross.'
She looked pityingly at me. 'Oh, you see, in the United States, we don't allow the blind to drive cars.'