One of the questions I occasionally get asked is “What would you put on a list of things to do before you die?” (See the interview in About Me for answers). Like everyone, I do have a vague list of things I’ve always wanted to do, and the other day I actually got to do one of them.I’ve started volunteering with Quaker Homeless Action on their mobile library for homeless people. It was my first shift and I’d been told that I could meet them either at the street where the van was parked or the homeless shelter they were visiting. I duly turned up at the street, only to find it full of anonymous white vans, none of which looked particularly library-ish.
I wandered hopefully up and down for a quarter an hour or so, but when none of the vans grew lights and Quakers and drove off, I decided to give up and get a taxi to the homeless shelter. Sitting happily and warmly inside, we drove across Waterloo Bridge and under The Strand underpass. As we came out of the underpass, I noticed the van in front of us – with QUAKER HOMELESS ACTION, MOBILE LIBRARY stencilled across it in big capital letters.
I leant forward.
“This is going to sound really stupid,” I said to the taxi driver. “But follow that van!”
I’ve wanted to do that for years.