Life

Marie Louise McConville: If people were nicer to each other, the world would be a better place to live

The care and support a Danske bank official showed a visually impaired customer has helped restore Marie Louise's faith in humanity

Sometimes, it really does feel like the world is upside down.

What with concerns over North Korea, unrest in the US over Trump and fears over Brexit, it's easy to see how some people are weighed down with concerns, on top of their own personal worries, of course.

Given the pace of life these days, it's understandable that many people go about their daily lives on auto-pilot, trying to get things done, without really taking in what is going on around them or who is around them.

Many of us can get so consumed with our own lives that we can forget about others and often social interaction pays the price.

Rushing here and rushing there, people are bumping into each other - without apologising.

Driving in the car, motorists are cutting others off - so road rage ensues.

In shops, we push past others, in queues we hurry others along and often, we don't even bother now with please or thank God.

I really hate inconsiderate people. I'm only thankful that there are not too many of them around.

Of course, it can only take one instance to negatively cloud your judgment of someone but at the same time, it can just take one moment to restore your faith and I'm very thankful I had such an experience just recently.

On a Saturday, I'm usually found in Kennedy Centre where I visit Sainsbury's to get my weekly groceries and last week was no exception.

I usually use the bank machine in the supermarket but as it was out of order, Abbie and I instead walked around to Danske Bank in the centre. However, the ATM outside the bank was also broken.

Thank goodness then that there was also an ATM inside the bank and so we joined the queue.

Standing there with Abbie, an older lady in front of me turned around and asked me if there was any staff around.

Noticing that she was visually impaired, I asked her if she wanted me to try and find someone and she said yes.

So, off I went and it wasn't long until I came across a female member of staff.

I explained about the lady who needed assistance and she went over to her.

Over the course of the next few minutes, I was really heartened by what I saw and heard.

The lady from the bank guided the customer through every step of using the ATM and gave her all the help that she needed.

She explained about the lights - and what they signalled for customers who are visually impaired - and showed her how to use the earphones so she could hear directions.

She displayed wonderful patience and had a really warm and caring approach.

As the queue behind me grew longer and longer, the bank representative did not try hurry the customer along, instead supported her and explained everything.

Afterwards she helped the woman lift her cash and then helped her with a walking frame she was using over to a desk, where she assisted the woman pack away her money safely.

I have to say I was really impressed with the duty of care this bank official displayed.

Even though she knew there was a long queue, she ensured the woman in need of a little extra help was her priority and she met her needs in every way.

I only wish I had seen the name tag of the lady from the bank because I think she definitely deserves a name check for the effort she made with this Danske customer.

It's nice to know that there are still people around who take time to help those in need of a little extra support and I have to say it has gone a long way in persuading me that maybe I should move my business to Danske if this is the effort they make for customers.

It's nice to be nice and really, I'm relieved that there are still some well mannered, caring people around.

Faith in humanity restored.

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Competition

The boring cold weather and dark nights have arrived so how do you fancy treating the kids to a night of awesome animated fun at the cinema?

The Lego Ninjago movie arrives at Movie House Cinemas on October 13 and I have two family tickets to give away for a screening of the much-anticipated flick.

Martial arts maestro, Jackie Chan voices the character of Master Wu, who is as wise-cracking as he is wise.

The movie tells the story of six young ninjas - Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya – who are, under the guidance of Master Wu, tasked with the job of defending their island home, Ninjago from villains and monsters sent by warlord, Lord Garmadon.

Lego Ninjago will be showing at all five Movie House Cinemas – at Cityside/Yorkgate, Dublin Road, Glengormley, Maghera and Coleraine - from October 13.

Further details at www.moviehouse.co.uk.

I have two family tickets for the Lego Ninjago movie at Movie House Cinemas to give away to two readers.

If you fancy winning a voucher, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to competitions@irishnews.com

Closing date for entries is Tuesday, October 3, 2017

(Q) Name the actor who voices the character of Master Wu

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

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What's Hot?

Rom-Com - The lovely and wonderful Reese Witherspoon returns to the big screens this weekend in Home Again, which tells the story of a single mother in Los Angeles, whose life takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her. Sure to be fun.

Gig - Canadian singer Shania Twain has announced a new tour - the first in 13 years. The 52-year-old, known for hits including You're Still The One, will play The SSE Arena in Belfast on September 29, 2018. Tickets go on sale today at 10am.

Praise - Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith has described the new - and first female - Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker as "warm, intelligent, charming and funny". Good. It's about time her appointment was met with some positivity.

So Not!

Tributes - Tributes have been paid to Coronation Street legend Liz Dawn - who played Vera Duckworth for 34 years - who died this week following a battle with emphysema.

Apology - Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards gas apologised to fans after pulling out of a performance in Las Vegas due to "gastric problems''. Oh dear.

Disgust - Snack fans have expressed their disgust after it was revealed that the McVitie's have cut the number of Jaffa Cakes in a standard packet from 12 to 10 - but the price remains the same.

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Competition

The winners of the KORRES competition are Monica Morris, from Omagh and Bernie McGurk, from Belfast

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Easy Peasy Recipe

This week's Easy Peasy Recipe is Thai Pumpkin Soup

You will need:

1.5kg pumpkin or squash, peeled and roughly chopped

4tsp sunflower oil

1 sliced onion

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 lemongrass

4tbsp Thai red curry paste

400ml can coconut milk

850ml vegetable stock

lime juice

To Make:

Heat oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.

Put the pumpkin or squash in a roasting tin with half the sunflower oil and roast for 30 minutes.

Put the remaining sunflower oil in a pot with the onion, ginger and lemongrass and gently cook for 8-10 mins, until softened.

Stir in the curry paste, followed by the roasted pumpkin. Add all but 3tbsp of the coconut milk and the stock.

Bring to a simmer, cook for 5 mins, then remove the lemongrass.

After allowing to cool, put mixture in a blender and whizz.

Return to the pot and heat through, seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice.

Serve drizzled with the remaining coconut milk.

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

Are you the queen of quiches, magnificent at muffins or can you turn out some nice scones?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Marie Louise McConville,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,

Belfast,

BT1 2GE

or

m.mcconville@irishnews.com

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