I was the recipient of a random act of kindness today.

Preparing to pay for my parking and laden with grocery bags one of the mall’s security guards ran up to me and offered me his “free parking” slip.

He’d just bought a cool drink at the Checkers to have with his lunch and as part of thanking you for shopping at their store they provide free parking for 1 hour.

I was taken aback at the unexpectedness of this gesture.

“And what about you?” I asked.

“I don’t have a car,” he said, “I use public transport. Here, use my slip.”

Touched, humbled, delighted, grateful and awe are words to describe what I felt.

I will pay it forward. I hope that he will be the recipient of someone’s act of kindness too.



The box is not empty. It’s filled with an injured pigeon we’re hoping to nurse back to health.

Che spotted a bird in the pool this morning. It was just floating seeming without life. He rushed out to fish it from the pool and found that it was still alive, just barely. The water couldn’t have been more than 8 degrees (centigrade).

We put it on some absorbent kitchen paper to get rid of the water, wrapped him in newspaper because in addition to being waterlogged he was also hypothermic, or the bird equivalent of that.

It eventually began to shiver, a good sign that its body was reacting. We tried the hairdryer on the warm setting until I thought of the bean bag which I use for muscle spasm.

This made a huge difference. We put it on this on the window sill which gets quite warm during the day. Eventually its shivering stopped and the gasping stopped gasping and its breaths, initially slow and spaced apart, became a bit faster and seemed to be normalising.

©2016 Regina Martins
©2016 Regina Martins

Its lolling head lifted and it started to try to stand up. All good signs. We put him it a box facing the sun where it could protect its head.

I was on a business call a couple of hours later when I heard a hiss and scratching on the box. Nermal the cat, since woken from his lazy winter slumber on the couch discovered…lunch! Or so he thought. He was duly banished to the outdoors.

The pigeon was by this time up and about and we allowed it outside hoping that it’d fly away. We didn’t see any blood or other injury. But it just stood on the grass. Every time I looked out of the window there it was, still standing looking up at the trees. This was awfully strange and google said that sometimes injured pigeons can take up to 3 days to recover.

I called Che from the garage where he was working and we chased this pigeon (who can run fast but can’t fly) until we caught it. In the process of catching it he tried to fly away over the pool and it got half-way across before coming to land in the frigid water once again! And we saw that its wing, though not broken, is injured.

Rinse and repeat the morning’s activities. It’s now ensconced in a box, with a bean bag I keep on warming up, with some food and water. Tomorrow, with more time, we’ll take a look at his wing, see how bad the injury is and decide what to do then.

In between working, this was the day’s adventure. I hope the pigeon recovers. Irrespective of what people say about them, it’s still a living creature and I can’t see one suffer in my backyard where I could do something about it.

So, the box is not empty, it is full of pigeon we are going to do our damnedest to nurse back to health.



I’m looking forward to our days getting longer as we slowly march towards summer here in the southern hemisphere.

In the meantime I’m reminded that in Joburg, our Christmas is in the middle of summer and instead of snow we get hail. Sometimes the fall is so heavy that it looks like snow on the ground.

In no time the sun comes out again to melt the hail. The day, only mildly cooler with the hailstorm beckons us outside and the pool invites once again.