Earlier today I lost my phone. Having gone to one of the shops on Askew Road I came back to the car minus a phone. Retracing my steps it was nowhere to be seen so I searched the car to see if it had dropped out. One exhaustive search later and I had to accept it was either lost or stolen.
After an hour, during which I'd had a T-Mobile call centre worker sitting in the far east telling me in a bored voice I'd just have to buy a new handset and could I go now please, I had another call, this time showing a more positive side to people.
It was, bizarrely, a call from my mum who'd received a weird call from a guy who started the call with the words "it's about your son" ... not the words a parent really wants to hear. It was a guy who had found the phone which, being new is quite valuable, and looked up "mum" on the contacts to call to return it. Moments later I was talking to him myself, a Bush dweller from Algeria called Bilal. And officially one of the nicest people to live in W12.
Meeting him outside a bustling Damas Gate I offered him a reward, but was turned down flat. He said he just hoped that someone else would do the same for him. It was enough for him to know the phone had been returned.
Driving back from the meeting I passed by the address I visited here, one night out with the local police. It had been burgled and the young woman living there was terrified, upset and angry all at the same time. She was getting out of the Bush as soon as she could, and after an experience like that who can blame her. But with people like Bilal amongst us, it's also worth remembering some of the best people in Old London Town live right here too.