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Still the same Close Shave

Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely set upon by a bunch of Pharisees,  I had moved to the middle of nowhere, wrested control of the project from the guy who thought he was in charge, and got myself a reliable car. Things were going great, cue the ominous music…

One clear and sweltering Summer morning as I made my way to work, the sun only just peeking over the horizon, and the sound of cattle gently lowing in the air (Dorothea McKeller* eat your heart out), little did I know that within minutes my life would take an unexpected turn. (now that there’s some mighty fine writtin’)

For those who have lived, or are living in a remote area, you would already know that your windshield (windscreen to some) always seems to have a coating of bugs, complete with the attendant yellow and white gunk that oozes out of them on impact, for everyone else, now you also know. It was this patina of pests that made driving into the sun very difficult, so much so that I had to stick my head out the window in order to navigate the road up to the main site.

In case you’re unaware (although for the life of me I can’t imagine there’s anyone among us who hasn’t driven with their head out the window), there is a natural tendency for the car to head in the direction that your head goes. This means that the car ends up on the wrong side of the road. That sounds lot worse than it was, firstly is was a private road, and secondly I was only doing about 30 miles an hour.

The trouble was however, that even with sticking my head out the window, my vision was still very much impeded by the bright sun shinning directly into my eyes, it was so bad that it seemed like I was driving at night with no lights. The best I could do was focus on edge of the asphalt and try to keep the car lined up with it.

Unfortunately for me the road had a slight incline, fortunately for the guy at the other trying to get the concrete truck started, it had a slight decline which was just perfect for clutch starting the truck. One minute I was blindly making my way to work in my newly fixed up car, and the next I was rapidly making my way to hospital in an ambulance.

I spent the next six weeks in hospital, and then another 14 weeks in an ankle-to-hip cast, and I had lost my front teeth, well actually I didn’t lose them exactly, I just left them stuck in the door of my car. When I finally got back to work, I asked the guy driving the truck about what happened (bear mind that I knew him before the crash), and he laughingly replied "It was the strangest thing, I was sitting in the truck and saw you coming up the road, when all of a sudden you just lined your car up with my truck and came straight at me, I thought you were just screwing around and before I realised what was happening it was too late." It must have seemed funny to him at the time, for his back was to the sun so everything would have seemed normal.

So there you have it, I promised you that the next close shave would have dire consequences for me an it did, even today my leg hurts in cold weather, and my teeth never did grow back.

Oh, here’s a little treat that I just found for you, the actual entry I made about the crash at the time (and I seems I was a year out with my earlier estimate, it was actually ’75 not ’74, but I was close, and I did say around 1974)…


Stay tuned, I’ve got even more close shaves.

*Coincidentally, that poem was written on a sheep station not far from here.