When my choir friend Simon's bag was stolen, with his much-loved camera inside, an anonymous reader of his blog bought him a new one – a gesture that provided a heartwarming and humans-can-actually-be-quite-brilliant ending to an unhappy episode.
Simon did eventually establish some details of the benefactor. It seemed that the gift was an act of reciprocation, a reward for the considerable amount of cheer he had gifted them over many years, sometimes when it was badly needed indeed.
I have none of that emotional elixir to offer, in terms of either quality or longevity. Nor any such Genuine Deservingness (yes, it's in the dictionary actually). Instead I have two and a half years of sporadic self-indulgence and the fact that my very expensive liquid eyeliner has dried up after only a month and the dishwasher at work never cleans the mugs properly so you have to rinse them out again yourself. I can see that the Miss Jones Benevolent Fund is still a long way from being so much as a kindly twinkle in its founders' eyes. But still, if I was to compose a wish list of costly trinkets to be purchased by anonymous wellwishers, a grotesque counterpoint to World Vision's pumps and ploughs and goats, this would be at the top of it.
It is a light-up sign. Is there anything that is not improved by the ability to light up? A disguise kit, perhaps. Camouflage, unless you are attempting to camouflage yourself in Blackpool at certain times of the year. Blackout blinds. I digress. It used to live in an actual hospital, and now it lives in the salvage yard on Vauxhall Cross, which is less a yard and more a racketty-packetty rambling house of treasures with a cosy cafe inside which looks like it might be vegetarian but also might not necessarily be. All this, in combination with its South London location, makes it a dream day out for me.
Anyway, the box. It is £300.
It would be ever so useful in any number of situations. Post-Doctor Who episode. Post-baking experiment. Post-fraught emotional situation of any description. Post-ill-advised blog posts inciting unmerited acts of charity from readership.