You will excuse me a brief rant. It is more important for me to write it than for you to read it, which probably guarantees you will read it but hey what the hell.
Last Christmas the adorable Mrs T, whilst buying gifts for all her store managers (16 of them and out of her own pocket) forgot, briefly, to close her bag and had her wallet stolen. The £32 would have been willingly given to anyone who asked with good and convincing reason but it was a pain, at a busy time of year, to have to make all the calls to replace bank cards, driving licences etc. The loss of the two small photos of her sons was perhaps the most painful bit.
It was the first time she had been such a victim.
Last Saturday, whilst enjoying a restaurant meal with a couple of friends, it happened to her again. This time it is more mysterious in that the restaurant had a CCTV camera which doesn't seem to show anything happening and she had her bag with her, or attended by a friend, all evening. This time the cash haul was £10.12 but the psychological haul was weekend spoiling. 'Why was I so stupid,' she asks.
Well I've told her, but I'm telling you too, that allowing your guard to drop momentarily is not stupid it is human. We relax. We trust. It is stupid to steal. It hurts people who don't hurt you and most of whom would help you if they knew you.
Christian communities I have belonged to have paid for holidays for needy teenagers, settled the debts of those who have got in a mess, housed the homeless and fed the hungry. Pretty damn regularly.
Now, again as an interlude to a busy life, the cards and licences must be replaced. And the photo which now probably resides at the bottom of the floating harbour in Bristol, alongside the recently replaced National Trust Membership card, Advantage card, Reward card and Nectar card is of me. Quite a fetching one too I might add.
I have been quite occupied by the word 'forgiveness' this last few days. I apologise that for a little while longer I am going to be a hypocrite and wish ill-will to those who brought ill to my lover. I hope you are very slightly ill for a few hours and the remedy costs, oh, say £10.13. Ask me for the penny. I'll send it. Eye for eye; tooth for tooth.
I'll get there. Just give me a day or two.