One thing I have always excelled at is ‘learning from my mistakes’! It is a very long time since I was a Girl Guide – and then an Air Ranger, which may explain my love of aircraft and aviation ever since – where the very sensible motto was Be Prepared. 

How I wished I had remembered to do that over recent months particularly. I would encourage everyone to have an emergency bag in case you, well, have an emergency! After my recent falls, not having a bag ready meant I went ill-prepared to hospital. You don’t think too clearly when you are on the floor in a lot of pain and two lovely Paramedics are hovering ready to scoop you up and take you to hospital.

Now I have a rescue bag with basic essentials packed already. That is not being pessimistic, just sensible. And I am continually thankful for having good friends and neighbours. I have noticed over the years that people often want to volunteer or help others but sometimes don’t know what to do.

My awareness of the sheer value and importance of having good friends and neighbours has spurred me on to think creatively and start to develop an organisation called Good Neighbours Association (GNA). More on that another time except to say it is not in competition with any other organisation that exists but just to promote ‘good neighbourliness and a strong community’. 

Examples of the types of things friends and neighbours have done for me over recent weeks through shielding and in and out of hospital include shopping, collecting medication, making sure I was well supplied with mineral water – and very thoughtfully part unscrewing the tops because it is very difficult to do that when you are temporarily stuck with only one hand! 

Also, cooking at home and bringing round meals to put in my freezer, cooking and bringing food round for us both to share and keeping me company in doing so. Then there is taking the rubbish out and helping with recycling.

As it looks as if we might be in Lockdown again fairly soon or in Tier 3 in Kensington – it is the time to step up and help each other more. Meanwhile, stay safe and think of others living around you.  



Be Prepared and Good Neighbours are a Blessing!