Dear Inner Circle,

A gorgeous young fellow who makes the world a better place just by waking up in the morning, was in the café today after some months away. I was delighted to see him but concerned because he’d clearly lost a lot of weight. I asked him about his health but he insisted first on discussing my health. I’ve had a few challenges with health this year and this fellow knew enough to prevent me from switching the attention back to him. As we talked, the kindest eyes in the world kept focus on me. I could have been talking to my father or my daughter. Eventually I needed to keep moving and I thanked him in a lighted-hearted way to almost balance the intense love in my face. His words too were light-hearted, and yet we both knew the depth and weight of the care we exchanged. “You’re a gentleman and a scholar,” I said. “I have my moments,” he replied.

A couple of weeks ago, our staff at Bondi travelled up to my office in an unusual gesture because they were so concerned about a woman whose situation was so dire, they believed it was a matter of life or death. The small unit in which she lived had become infested with bedbugs and all manner of insects. The person was handicapped and unable to move without the aid of a chair and someone to assist. Various agencies had been involved but they had mostly ceased any support out of concern for the health of their own staff. Our staff at Bondi had badgered government departments and various private agencies to the point of becoming a total nuisance. No-one felt it was their job to help. The person themselves had so lost the will to live that in conversations with our people, as bugs crawled over her face, no effort was made to even brush off the vermin. Wayside has no budget or capacity for such an emergency and yet I was convinced that death was a real possibility of inaction. I have a band of angels who have indicated from time to time that I can call on them in extraordinary circumstances. My angels on this occasion paid for alternate accommodation for a couple of days, as well as for a company to take away all the woman’s furniture and for another company to thoroughly fumigate the woman’s small flat. The contractor phoned us in tears, hardly believing that such a situation could exist in this country. It was the worst case of infestation he’d ever seen. My angels also paid for new basic furniture to be bought to make the unit habitable. I saw the woman early this morning in the street at Bondi. To see a bright, clean, animated face and to be thanked with such heart-felt words was utterly humbling. My deepest admiration for our staff at Bondi for refusing to look the other way and my deepest thanks to that incredible husband and wife team of angels that made all of this possible.

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