Apart from the food it's a whole lot more this soup kitchen provides. It's the chats we have, the catch ups and all that.
As we entered Booth House I spied someone hiding their face. My curiosity made me walk up to get a closer look. He was an old primary school class mate and was now living in a homeless hostel. I didn't need to say much, he's a mate after all. All I said was I never wanted to ever see him hide his face from me like that again. I told him his gesture embarrassed me. This geezer always had a devilish streak but was a total brain box. As a youngster I envisaged him working for a blue chip company and living the high life. He had a taste for everything that glittered and if he'd had better luck he would have been there.
Unfortunately his fate was decided otherwise and fast forward 3 decades he's now on and off the streets. I told him it could have been reversed and been me or Tee he was serving today. He gave me a pat on the shoulder and walked off. He wasn't shaking from the cold weather, his priorities were otherwise.
We met a few more familiar faces that evening. To me the dark outside seemed darker. The shine from the East London Mosque, 100 yards opposite to our right gave us some light.
Tee and I went into the common room to get our gear. The lads were getting ready for Germany v England. "2-1 England win and Kane and Vardy to score", I told Terry. In the end I wasn't far off as Roy Hodgson's men pulled off a great comeback win in Berlin.
Booth House staff had told us that the guests had just eaten barely two hours earlier. We'd braved the rain to get there and weren't about to just leave. We would serve the homeless guests. It just might take longer as most were supposedly full.
The food was donated by our friend from The Curry Bazaar in Brick Lane. How wrong the staff were. One whiff of the delicious chicken biriani and we had a long line. Elas had joined us and we finished serving within thirty minutes. We even turned two guys away.
Not bad at all.