Monday, 10 October 2011

You should've seen the other guy

Apologies for not having returned to say thank you to everyone who's emailed me in response to the previous post and shared their happiest holiday memories and favourite destinations. Reading them has been a real pleasure, and yesterday I finally got round to picking out the names of five people to receive books. Well done Alison, Sue, Katie, Denise and Holly, and *thank you* for your lovely emails. Florence was the most mentioned holiday destination and also one of the most evocatively described, so going there now feels like a matter of urgency, especially as Autumn has arrived with a vengeance here, hurling leaves against my window and making it necessary to wear thick jumpers and have the lights on all day.

Not that I'm going anywhere if I can help it until I look a bit more respectable. Last week I went down to London with daughter #1 and a friend as she'd been commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year competition and was invited to attend an award ceremony followed by a day of exciting poetry stuff at the Southbank Centre. Of course, maternal pride aside, I was thrilled because it was an excuse to meet up with London girls Natalie Rivers and Heidi Rice for lunch and gossip.

It was a glorious sunny day and we sat in the cafe at Tate Modern and looked out across the river as we had a lovely long, leisurely lunch. After we'd reluctantly said goodbye to Heidi and sent her back to her glamorous Southbank office Natalie and I wandered in the sunshine in the direction of St Pauls, where we had a cup of tea in the crypt and listened to a school choir singing in the cathedral above. So far so fabulous. After that we were heading back in the direction of the Southbank centre to meet the daughter when it all went a bit pear shaped. The traffic, being central London, was dire and I walked in front of a bus that was stationary - but couldn't see the courier cyclist hurtling along on its pavement side.

Oops. The rest is a bit hazy, but let's just say lots of blood and an ambulance were involved. Luckily the cyclist wasn't hurt and was extremely nice, picking me up (from which we can deduce he was extremely strong too) and insisting on giving us his name and phone number. Not that I was in much state to take it, but thank goodness for Natalie who was calm, competent and utterly magnificent in a way I just know I would have failed to manage had the roles been reversed (which in itself would be unlikely as she's far too sensible to throw herself into the path of an oncoming bike in the first place.) She kept me calm, fed me chocolate, waited while I was being stitched up, made lots of contingency plans with Heidi for collection of children, then escorted us all right to the platform at Euston station when it was time for our train home. I'm thinking of taking her everywhere with me in future, just to be on the safe side. She's an absolute goddess.

Here's what I looked like yesterday. Shame Halloween isn't for a few weeks...




19 comments:

Lucy King said...

Oh my goodness - how horrendous. Hope you're alright. Courier cyclists, grr.

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

OMG! Your poor thing! And you were sober as well!

Big, big hugs, chocolate and medicinal brandy on its way!!

Cor, blimey that's one hell of a shiner ...

XXX

scarlet wilson said...

OMG!!!!!!!
That's the best shiner I've seen in ages!
Hope it manages to fade by 28th, otherwise I'm just going to sit and stare at it all day!
Glad you're okay x

ros said...

Oh no! I'm going to hope that it looks worse than it is. Poor you.

India said...

Thanks Lucy! I'm fine now, though couldn't believe how achy I was over the weekend. I felt kind of sorry for the poor cyclist who was just trying to get his job done, but I'm not sure whose fault it was legally. I think the highway code kind of frowns on overtaking traffic on the inside, but most cyclists do it... and most pedestrians have the nous to look out for them!

I know Rach - sober as a judge! And had such a headache for the next 2 days I didn't touch a drop then either. Am making up for it now, in celebration of my return to form.

Scarlet, the funny thing is it really is SHINY! Combined with the pretty colours, I really could look at it in fascination all day. I'm hoping it's all mended by 28th too or I might have to go down the celebrity 'sunglasses indoors' look. (Looking forward to seeing you btw!)

Thanks Ros - it was quite a thump, but could have been a whole lot worse... Lesson learned about paying attention when crossing the road in the city!

Heidi Rice said...

Jaysus! That's nasty. You brave thing.

And as a regular London cyclist myself I think it was definitely his fault. If you're going to overtake on the inside you should go very slowly and keep an eye on pedestrians! And he clearly wasn't.

What a shame after such a lovely lunch and all.

H x

Fiona Harper said...

I was quite enjoying reading your 'having a nice day out' post until the words 'blood', 'ambulance' and 'stiches' floated before my eyes! Oh, my goodness, you poor old thing. You are in definite need of Green & Black's! Will have to see what i can do...

Catherine J said...

Oh my goodness, poor you. Hope you're feeling better.

Lacey Devlin said...

Wow. I must say that's very impressive. I hope it's not nearly as painful as it looks! Get well soon.

Kate Hardy said...

Oh, honey, what a horrible thing to happen to you!

Hope you're feeling better soon and getting lots of pampering at home.

Big hugs (and I'll give you a proper hug in person on the 28th).

(And am I very bad for thinking, OMG, what a great opening for a book?)

Morton S Gray said...

Poor India. Big hugs sent through the airways. I agree with Kate - what a great start to a story, you must write it.

Hope you will be feeling better soon. Mx

India said...

Heidi, thanks for making me feel a bit less stupid! The poor cyclist was clearly very shocked and upset, but I do feel he did have every right to feel mighty annoyed with the daft woman wandering out in front of him too. Oh well, it's a mistake I probably won't make twice - and it WAS a lovely lunch!

Fiona, the first thing I said to Natalie when I emerged from having my head stitched up was 'I need chocolate'. Being a very excellent friend, she replied - 'here I've just bought some for you' and thrust an emergency Yorkie bar into my hand. You've got to adore a woman like that, haven't you? Green and Blacks would definitely be my medication of choice though - just have to brave the curious stares of people in the supermarket to go and get some!

Thanks for the good wishes Catherine and Lacey - I'm loads better than I was, and able to laugh about it (a bit) now...

Morton and Kate (looking forward to collecting that hug) Natalie and I agreed it would be a pretty good start to a book, though a courier cyclist isn't your typical Presents Alpha career. Some tweaking would be required...(and the lycra might have to go too.)

Anonymous said...

Oh my, what a shiner, hope you're feeling a lot better, and watch out for the shock, it may not come out for a few days! I prescribe copious mugs of hot chocolate, look after yourself.
xx Karen

Ellie Swoop said...

Morton told me what happened India, do hope you feel much better soon, must have been a shock. More hugs from me and hope to see you soon xx

Jane said...

Hope you're feeling better, India. Glad you weren't more seriously hurt.

Brigitte said...

Now how come, when I don't check your blog for a couple of days, things like that happen to you?? Oh you poor thing!!!! Hopefully hubby is there to give you some TLC. Any chance the girls are taking over some housework to give Mummy a rest??

Big Hug across the Channel.xx

Caroline said...

OMG! Hope you are on the mend India. Caroline x

India said...

Thank you so much for your kindness ladies, and for coming over here to leave a comment. It really is so sweet of you and I've been amazed and touched by how lovely everyone's been. Which reminds me... I feel a new post coming on!

Trenda said...

Oh dear India! I am so glad you are okay! Hugs and love and oodles of cyber choccies on the way.

Trenda