The Identification of Mrs Kipling

My 4 hour journey back home last weekend failed to comply with the normal rules of bus travel: no eye contact, don’t smile, show an expression as if a stranger just urinated in your shoes. Instead, the seated Thamesdown audience had the honour of witnessing, what can only be described as, an act of pure kindness and generosity…

With 10 stops down and what seemed like another thousand to go, on stepped an elderly lady, barely five feet tall. After telling the driver where she’d like to go, she didn’t reach for her purse, but for a small cellophane bag. In the bag were Mini Cheddars, Viennese Whirls, Twix’s, Bon Bons- just about every confectionary item under the sun. She slowly offered her “special bag” to the driver like the Robin Hood of sugary delights, inviting him to “take a ‘goodie’ for the journey” (he wisely chose the Mini Cheddars). With a smile painted across her face, the lady put the treats away, paid the £1.20 fee, and made her way down the aisle to sit down.

Not only did this make me think “Good God, we need more people like that in this world”, but it also made me realise the lengths this lady had probably gone to just to ‘make the day’ of another. Countless bus rides and confectionary purchases must’ve cost her a considerable amount of time and money, but the moment she saw the bus driver’s smile, knowing she had made someone’s day that little bit brighter, undoubtedly was a large enough reward to keep her happy for the rest of the week.

So, to ‘Mrs Kipling’, whoever you are, I hope one day someone returns the favour and extends an arm holding their “special bag”. Until then, keep putting grins on the faces of those who need it.


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