Pay it Forward… sort of

February 10, 2010

There’s a film called Pay it Forward. I haven’t seen it. I like it. Here’s the trailer. It does for me.

Just the trailer makes me cry. I’ll maybe avoid the film in case of severe disappointment. Take it from me, it’s a good film.

The kindness of strangers. That crops up a lot if you Google it. It’s part of the last line in A Streetcar Named Desire. And here’s me thinking I’d thought it up. The kindness of strangers. There’s lots of kind people out there, and yesterday I was the recipient of such a kind act it made me want to cry. Want to? Oh heck. I did.

A parcel had arrived for me at my agents. I went to pick it up. And someone I don’t even know had bought me a camera. A camera! From a stranger! I was overwhelmed. And I am now as I type this.

A few weeks ago my bag was stolen. My camera was in it. I prefer taking photos to taking cameras. I have been a little lost without it. I wrote a blog post about… well, not about my camera being stolen, but I did mention it in passing. And, a very very kind person bought me a new oneย  and left the message “This is to thank you for many years of entertainment and to replace your stolen camera. With love from some fans.”

I expect you’re crying now.

This is such a kind and unexpected act. It might be one of those moments where everything’s great and surprising and then… well, you wake up.

Thank you.

And thank you too to all my friends, including Professor Yard and Sarah, who offered me loans of cameras until I sorted myself out. Twitter, blogging… anyone who thinks these things are somehow unreal communities needs to get out more.

What can I do in return? Well, I now have a camera bought for me by you. I am your photographer. I am declaring myself, with no guarantees of any quality control, to be the People’s Photographer. You, dear and kind readers (and also the not so kind and dear ones) let me know what you need pictures of. I will take photos for you and get them to you within one week of your demand. All you have to do is tell me what you want photographed and where to send it. Be as inventive as you like, but try to avoid geographically challenging tasks. Be creative, but avoid portraits of unobtainable people. (If, say, you want a pic of George Clooney on top of Everest, well, I just won’t do it.)

It could be fun.

Right, I’m off to learn about my lovely new camera, and in a day or so put up picture number one. feel free to offer suggestions for that too.

Here’s an old picture from my last camera, taken in America at Christmas. No relevance, it just entertains me.

Santana Row people

Oh, and I think I know who you are, and if you are who I think you are, and you live East Dulwich way, you must, at the least, let me take you and your husband for a drink. And thank you so much. It’s one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. Of course you could be mad, but I doubt it.

I’m a comedian and here I am getting all soppy and sincere.

Did I mention that my stolen bag also had in it a car and a house?


14 Responses to “Pay it Forward… sort of”

  1. Warren said

    I’m not surprised someone bought you a camera; you’ve helped to shape zillions of people’s senses of humour over the years. It’s no more than you deserve, and a lovely gesture.

    Thanks for making me and my sister laugh so much.


  2. Bruce said

    Check what pictures are on the camera. There may be snaps of you arriving with a bag at a hotel in South London.

  3. Simon Hickson said

    That is a good idea for your next film Bruce. And cheers Warren, that’s very kind.

    Today I am drowning in kindness. Some bastard throw me a rubber ring.

  4. vic said

    Love, this is such a lovely story. couldn’t happen to a nice fellow. Hope to see you soon xx

  5. Andrea said

    I think your blog should be renamed ‘Mister Softy’, ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thank you, kind person, for doing such a kind thing and making my friend smile. And cry. But mostly: smile.


  6. Real Girlfriend said

    Like Andrea ,I too say a massive thank you to the lovely, kind people who made a lovely kind man very happy. xxx

  7. Shujin said

    Wow, what a lovely gesture. It doesn’t surprise me, people are generally nice.
    I like your blog Simon, it’s the only one I read.

  8. Chris said

    As has been said already… I’m not suprised either. Photography clearly brings you a lot of pleasure, and it must have felt awful when you were left cameraless. The sentiment is spot on too… Thoroughly deserved for all the smiles you’ve given to everyone over the years. Can’t wait to see the results ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Andrea said

    Btw Simon, if you’re following the Pay It Forward motif, does this mean you have to now go buy cameras for three people?

    In the meantime, I’d like you to take a photograph of a smiling animal, please. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Simon,

    You are most welcome, glad you got a new one though as mine is a bit old and crappy!

    That was a really nice gesture by your mystery benefactor, but well deserved.

  11. What a kind and generous person whoever replaced your stolen camera.

    If you’re looking for photo assignments I’d like a picture of a tiger, to celebrate the Chinese new year.

    If you get a picture of a smiling one you complete two missions in one!

  12. Samantha said

    Any animals please Simon!

  13. Andrea said

    Hint, Simon: Tess purring could possibly count as a smiling tiger.

  14. Sarah said

    Photograph love please ๐Ÿ™‚

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