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The magic a smile can do.

Posted by Luke McMeeken-Ruscoe on

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do - Mother Teresa

A few days ago there was a lovely article about Matthew Lewis, who you might know better as Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter film franchise. It was essentially about Matthew being scared of Alan Rickman (Snape) and getting up the courage to talk to him on his last day. Rickman welcomed him into his trailer and they had a long talk and Matthew said it was amazing that this man treated him like an equal. Imagine that, trying people nicely. 

You could tell he was smiling by how he was talking about the experience.

It reminded me of a story I heard about Roger Moore. It is from Marc Haynes. I smile every time I think about it. 

As a seven-year-old in about 1983, in the days before First Class Lounges at airports, I was with my grandad in Nice Airport and saw Roger Moore sitting at the departure gate, reading a paper. I told my granddad I’d just seen James Bond and asked if we could go over so I could get his autograph. My grandad had no idea who James Bond or Roger Moore were, so we walked over and he popped me in front of Roger Moore, with the words “my grandson says you’re famous. Can you sign this?”

As charming as you’d expect, Roger asks my name and duly signs the back of my plane ticket, a fulsome note full of best wishes. I’m ecstatic, but as we head back to our seats, I glance down at the signature. It’s hard to decipher it but it definitely doesn’t say ‘James Bond’. My grandad looks at it, half figures out it says ‘Roger Moore’ – I have absolutely no idea who that is, and my hearts sinks. I tell my grandad he’s signed it wrong, that he’s put someone else’s name – so my grandad heads back to Roger Moore, holding the ticket which he’s only just signed.

I remember staying by our seats and my grandad saying “he says you’ve signed the wrong name. He says your name is James Bond.” Roger Moore’s face crinkled up with realisation and he beckoned me over. When I was by his knee, he leant over, looked from side to side, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said to me, “I have to sign my name as ‘Roger Moore’ because otherwise…Blofeld might find out I was here.” He asked me not to tell anyone that I’d just seen James Bond, and he thanked me for keeping his secret. I went back to our seats, my nerves absolutely jangling with delight. My grandad asked me if he’d signed ‘James Bond.’ No, I said. I’d got it wrong. I was working with James Bond now.

Many, many years later, I was working as a scriptwriter on a recording that involved UNICEF, and Roger Moore was doing a piece to camera as an ambassador. He was completely lovely and while the cameramen were setting up, I told him in passing the story of when I met him in Nice Airport. He was happy to hear it, and he had a chuckle and said “Well, I don’t remember but I’m glad you got to meet James Bond.” So that was lovely.

And then he did something so brilliant. After the filming, he walked past me in the corridor, heading out to his car – but as he got level, he paused, looked both ways, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said, “Of course I remember our meeting in Nice. But I didn’t say anything in there, because those cameramen – any one of them could be working for Blofeld.”

I was as delighted at 30 as I had been at 7. What a man. What a tremendous man.

Moment of Gratitude

I do a workout on the weekend with this group of people who could be best described as having a screw loose. You know those workouts. You are glad you did them, but it's horrible during. 

Every month they do community outreach stuff and this month was helping make food parcels with the Auckland City Mission for people in need. 

 

We packaged up nearly 900 food parcels for people in need in Auckland. It is an interesting experience wherein it feels good to help people that will never know you did anything for them. But, its also sad that we have so many people in who rely on them. 

Be awesome, Shave well, go make someone smile. 

Luke

 

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