I walked into Muswell Hill this morning kicking up piles of Autumn leaves. They're absolutely everywhere at the moment. It seems rather late in the year for that sort of palaver. I made a film for Children in Need in early November a few years ago, and the leaves were similarly thick on the ground, but that was the start of November. What strange weather we're having this year.
Speaking of which, the East Coast of the UK seems to be bracing itself for a rather biblical storm surge, which worries me a little. I have a feeling we're going to wake up tomorrow morning in complete disarray. The news people won't know whether to talk about the death of Nelson Mandella or the terrible floods. It will be one of those dates. I hope I'm proved wrong but I worry about the Essex coastline.
We haven't had any particularly strange weather in North London today. It was a bit blustery earlier, but the trees outside by the tube are almost worrying still.
If the wind picks up, we're on for a rather hysterical scene. The council people have not yet come along with their brooms and enormous vacuum cleaners and there are so many leaves lying in huge heaps on the ground that we'll end up with a sort of brown and orange blizzard.
A sad old bloke came into Costa Cafe today. He went up to one of the baristas and asked if he could have some sugar. I spent ages trying to work out what his story must have been. He could barely walk, poor thing, and was wearing a very silly hat. I couldn't work out why he wanted sugar. Maybe he just needed an energy boost and couldn't afford a drink. The barista gave him some small bags of sugar and he shuffled out again into the rain.
Five seconds later, the barista rushed out onto the street after him and a little later, the man had returned with the barista and was being given a coffee on the house, which he drank keenly.
I was so impressed by the barista. He absolutely didn't need to reach out to the old bloke, but obviously saw a person in need and wanted to do his bit. Some people in his position would even have refused the man a few little bags of sugar. Most would have been glad to see the back of him, "for the sake of the other customers..."
I will remember that random act of kindness for while. It makes me realise that there's always something else one can do to brighten someone else's day.