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Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Village Story -- Accident

But the chances are this story would not have a happy ending. Here we are summering in France at our home in Aynac in the Lot, France. It's August -- the time for visitors -- very busy.

My step-son is here with his son for a week. Today is their last day and the weather has to put a positive side to it, been changeable. As well as 'cool for the season'. (Roughly translated) So off we all went, the four of us, late in the sunny afternoon to Saint Cere for a bit of a shop and a drink in a local cafe/bar. We bought some foie gras and some chocolate walnuts (divine) and two darling tiny porcelaine piggies -- for the grandson -- and climbed back into the little red 'cent six' (Peugeout 106) for the picturesque drive up the old route home.

As we approached our turning -- I was thinking about getting the food on for Grandson Callum. He eats earlier as I'm notoriously slow getting dinner ready and we always eat late. My husband, Neil indicated left, the car behind slowed as we began to turn and that's when everything went to the angels.

I believe in miracles. Wham! Suddenly there was splintering. Glass, plastic and from my position in the front a motercycle and its driver were flying through the air -- the driver had left the 'moto', as the French say, and was somersaulting through the air landing in the ditch to the side of the road. We thought he was either dead or paralyzed.

My step-son, Neil James -- the James is to differentiate this Neil from his father -- apprehensively, but steadily, made his way to the victim, fearing what he might find. Neil J is in the British Territorial Army and trained to deal with injuries and emergencies. He just didn't know what to expect on the long walk to the rider. The lad had removed his helmet and was definitely 'winded' but how seriously was impossible to tell. Neil J's French is a bit limited, but he knew enough to indicate that it was 'ok' and not to move. More quickly than it seemed to him, the driver behind us was there to talk to him. We were all somewhat reassured because we saw the lad move his arms and legs and hoped that was a good sign.

In the meantime passers-by stopped and offered more much needed aid and assistance. The next one to stop had a mobile/cell phone and called the 'pompiers' for an ambulance. Husband Neil had managed to get the car of the center of the road and onto the edge. The fellow who called the ambulance (pompiers -- translated as firemen, who you call in an emergency where there is injury) came to the car where I sat with my grandson to ask if either of us were wounded. That was when it occurred to me that we might have ourselves been injured or suffered damage!

All either of us could think about was this poor 'jeune' (youth) flying through the air like a circus acrobat.

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