Jaqui's Daily Blog

Glamour Club and the Kindness of Strangers

Our Sporting Memories friend, Fulvio, reassures me that just because the Christmas Party is hosted by something called The Glamour Club doesn’t mean that I have to turn up looking, well, glamorous. Which is just as well as I have never quite managed to pull off the Marilyn Monroe Look.


Nevertheless, it does present me with an opportunity, for once, to dress up a bit - so I rake through my wardrobe to find the Really Rather Lovely dress bought for me by the Middle of the Darling Daughters many moons ago. It will do nicely, I think, being both smart and comfortable at the same time. I toy with idea of wearing heels but decide this would be A Step Too Far, given that I will have to struggle with putting the portable ramps down at our front door on our way out (and removing them later on our way in.) 


Up until a week ago, I didn’t think we would be able to go at all. My phone calls to every taxi company in the area met with one response - no wheelchair accessible taxis were available to transport us to and from our party. I had already paid for our party tickets - but that was the least of my worries: I had set my heart on us celebrating our Meeting Anniversary in style. Not that we met in romantic circumstances, you understand - we met outside Woolworths in Sittingbourne High Street, 56 years ago today. Poor Woolworths is no more but Mr B and I are still standing (in a manner of speaking) after all these years. 


In something approaching desperation, not really expecting a solution, I posted a message on the local Next Door social media site - which was when a London cabbie called Jon, who lives in our home town, stepped forward to Save The Day. What’s more, he refused any payment for taking us to and from our party. When I first read his message, I confess I wept at this shining example of The Kindness of Strangers. 


The poor man had more than he bargained for getting Mr B into his cab, despite the fitted ramps. I was all for giving up but our Knight in Shining Armour was made of sterner stuff. I raced from neighbours’ house to neighbours’ house in search of help - two were out, one was in the shower - then the lovely Julie and her daughter from next door but one came to the rescue. Into the cab we unceremoniously crammed Mr B, I climbed in slightly perilous fashion around the wheelchair and into the back seat and we were off!


Fulvio was at the door to welcome us in - and the first person we saw, as we entered the hall, was our lovely friend Jill wearing a penguin on her head. Not a real penguin, don’t be silly, but a festive hairband decorated with one. She hadn’t known we would be there and we hadn’t known she would be there - which made our Sweet Encounter all the sweeter. 


The proceedings were opened by Town Crier Bob in customary fashion, then afternoon tea was served by our “table hosts” - a selection of tasty sandwiches, delicious cakes and as much coffee as we could drink. On the stage, songbird Karen kept us entertained with tunes which everybody knew and could sing along to. There were smiles all round. I was even persuaded onto the dance floor by our table companions...


The Glamour Club is run by an organisation called It Socks To Be Lonely Sometimes Ltd which sets out to tackle the scourge of loneliness and isolation among the over Fifties. It’s a bit of good old fashioned fun, run by volunteers (including our friend, Fulvio) who treat their guests royally, spoiling them rotten and having a good time themselves at the same time.


If you are thinking that is a strange name for an organisation like this then you only have to think about unloading the washing machine and the inevitable Saga of the Lonely Sock. Looking around the hall, bedecked with festive decorations, at all the guests I couldn’t help thinking it was impossible to see anyone looking even the least bit lost or lonely. Everyone was among friends.


Which is, after all, what it was all about...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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