The past week has been a strange one. My training has dipped in the last few days because instead of running each night, I’m out flat hunting. I wish I was a pre-dawn runner but I’m just not that into it. I’m a night owl.
And after the third week on the job, I feel less like the new kid at work but I still manage to make a regular arse of myself. I met a guy who introduced himself as Weeeeen. I said ‘nice to meet you Weeeeen’. He is a Scotsman named Wayne. At least it got a laugh.
Thirdly, my flat mate has become even weirder. I dread going home. I feel sorry for her – even when she flies off the handle because I have done two loads of washing this week instead of my ‘allowance’ of one. There is something eating away at her.
I’ve moaned to my social network because they are kind and sympathetic. My Tweeties always come back with a witty quip to help me see the funny side of the ridiculous situations I find myself in.
But a few weeks ago I was on my home when I saw an old man pushed to the ground by a thug because he had accidentally bumped into the guy while getting off the train. When I went to help him I directed an expletive at the thug and he knocked me to the ground too. Not one person stopped to ask if either of us was OK. Yet on Twitter the responses to my update came thick and fast. Was I ok? Was I hurt? More mentally than physically, thanks guys.
So it has made me think about human kind. What makes a stranger reach out over a social network yet when you’ve been knocked over in a busy tube station most people will step over you?
Is it safety, anonymity, fear? Do I even need to ask?
London is a strange place. It is transient, fast paced and exciting. It is a city of opportunity. But it is hard. Its exterior is so tough that it seems easier to step over it than to stop and see if it’s OK.
In the past three months that I’ve lived here, I’ve often asked myself why am I here? How the hell did I get here? I think, like many expats, by chance.
To make life a little easier for myself and to keep the demons away, I run. And to make life a little easier for others, I raise money.
A few years ago when I was training for a half marathon with an Australian charity called Can Too, I was struggling up a hill and Can Too’s director, Annie, saw me and came to chat. She told me that whenever she struggled she thought of why she was doing this. And for her it was because she can. There are others who can’t. So she throws her heart and soul into it. She has raised millions of dollars for cancer research in Australia. Millions.
So this is why I’m doing it. Because I can.
And when this weird week is over and I’ve moved away from the landlord who needs a laundry lesson, my heart and soul will be in this too.
Please help me raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre at http://www.justgiving.com/KirstenLodge