One Thing or a Mother: Receiving a nice message can turn your day around

I hadn’t really realised it until recently, but now more than ever, receiving words of kindness means so, so much.
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As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m really suffering from lockdown fatigue. I am basically living the life of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (aren’t we all?!), just waiting for the day when I can wake up and not find myself on the lockdown hamster wheel.

(As an aside, apparently Punxsutawney Phil predicts a good spring, so at least that’s something to look forward to. Come on, Phil, please be right!)

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But then, just when another repetitive day is dragging, I’ll get a text or a WhatsApp message from my family or a friend, and it really peps me up – somebody is thinking of me! There is more to my life than doing endless washing up and wondering how it’s possible to be at home more but find time to clean less. Hooray!

Katherine wonders how many 'check-in' messages is too manyKatherine wonders how many 'check-in' messages is too many
Katherine wonders how many 'check-in' messages is too many

So, you can imagine the delight when the Herald and Gazette postbag revealed a letter addressed to me from a reader of this column.

It came in response to my column about some of my most embarrassing moments (that column could easily have been three times the length it was), and shared one of letter-writer Ann Millin’s most red-faced memories.

She said: “I was going on holiday to Italy and at Dover customs found I had my mother’s passport by mistake. The customs officer said ‘you will have to chance it’ and I got through.

“But at Calais, the conversation went:

“Customs officer: This isn’t you

“Me: No, it’s my mother

“Customs officer: Where is this lady?

“Me: She has died

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“Customs officer: Go into that room and don’t come out until the next boat arrives.

“So I was deported from France.”

Ann, you’re right, that must have been pretty embarrassing!

I’m happy to report that Ann did manage to get the train to Italy the next day, and ended up meeting people who had stayed in Worthing when she was in Milan.

But the real reason I shared this with you is because of how Ann signed off her letter.

She wrote: “Just to say I enjoy your column. It must be very difficult to think of something interesting every week. Well done.”

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I was so touched. Not only are there people out there reading this stream of consciousness, but lovely Ann has taken the time to put her thoughts down on paper and share them with me, and said something so kind in the process.

It absolutely made my day. So thank you, Ann. I hope you’re able to have a less dramatic return trip to Italy soon.

It just goes to show it only takes a little message to lift somebody out of their lockdown funk. And it’s inspired me to act. So, watch out family and friends, your WhatsApp accounts are about to start pinging.

If you’re lucky, I might even share some more of my inane witterings... I mean, highly relevant, thoughtful and provocative musings with you. It’s going to make you feel so much better.

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Either that, or I will have been divorced by my family and been blocked by most of my friends before the week is out.

In which case, I might need quite a few more letters to get me through the next couple of months. The Herald and Gazette address is on the website!

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