Depending on how much my welfare is close to you heart here are the good/bad news: I am NOT being detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Such are my charms (make that total incompetence in this case) that fine was reduced to a third (£220) payable in £5.00 instalments per week. I did offer to do community service instead to clear debt in one go, but they don’t do that round here.
It was all quite impressive, and VERY formal. On arrival a jovial warrant officer, Mr Pepper (of all names), granted me court bail – free of charge because I was already there. How glamorous is that? BAIL. And why being given bail when already in their claws? That’s drama, and I like a bit of drama, particularly when your stomach is already churning. Trust the English to make you smile when in despair. Later a motherly type (the usher) will invite you into court room before the magistrates enter. She will lull you into sense of security with aa tissue box at the ready. Apparently women in the dock cry, men get ANGRY. I didn’t cry, I most certainly wasn’t angry. Just embarrassed because in answer to certain questions I had to repeatedly reply that I had no recollection whatsoever. I didn’t even know which years they were referring to. Was I deep frozen at the time? Their file shows that I was one of the CHOSEN in police clampdown on traffic offenders (Feb 2009). However, they were not able to tell me what the original offence was; only that I had defaulted on a police fine. They could have told me I’d eaten my grandmother I’d probably believed them. Anyway, clearly well disposed towards what the tide had swept into their dock they were lenient. And to think of all the contingency plans I’d put into place back here at the ranch. It is just so typical: On one hand I never believe things will go wrong ; on the other I always prepare for worst case scenario like stock piling millions of rolls of toiletpaper in case we run out of trees – that sort of thing. And, after my mad displacement the day before, I then – again typical and as so often proving an unnecessary expenditure of energy - spent a lot of my night mulling over how to talk them out of destroying the last strands of my sanity. I should have just slept instead.
I was sworn in. How cool is that? In my case not on the bible. Seriously, usher asked me whether I adhere to any religious beliefs. That question, with all its philosophical implications, threw me off course for a moment. No. So there was no book. Just the “I hereby solemnly swear ….” Oh, the melodic beauty of those words. All of them. And as you know I love “the truth and nothing but the truth”. And then there was “Court Rise” on entry of those our happiness depends upon. The magistrates (three) sit down; luckily I was compos mentis enough NOT to sit down too – defendants do STAND.
However, for those of you who’d have liked to see me swing from a tree: All is not lost. On my way to court I kissed the tarmac. Indeed, I fell – flat on my face. How I do it I do not know; but do it I do. Sad result that I don’t trust my feet any longer (or my glasses, come to think of it) . So, yes, Sweethearts, as they say in the motherland: The bird twittering with high hope in the morning will be the cat’s dinner (roughly translated). Pain started kicking in about two hours later just as my case was called. Made wincing noise every so often which added music to proceedings. Had to explain that I didn’t do it for effect but that yes, indeed, I had had – in all likelihood - just broken my arm (same one, second time in a row).
Makes one ponder. Not just on luck. No sooner healed and mended no sooner broken. Considering that for the first fifty years of my life I was NOT a walking disaster area there must be a lesson in there somewhere. And think of the lingo when you translate the literal to the symbolic: Broke. Fallen. Stumbling through life. Pride comes before the fall. Flat on your face. Take it on the chin. Omelettes and broken eggs. Wood and sawdust. Anyway, so morning in court, made it back to Southampton on train – heroically considering but wanting to be back on home turf ; afternoon and evening in Accident & Emergency. Am pumped full with pain killers which is what allows me to keep you up to date. Still, at least my wrist held up; elbow not so. I can see it now when they dig me up in 500 years. I just hope they won’t draw too many conclusion about the world 2011 when disecting my skeleton. On a side note (there is always one): I don’t like skeletons, never have. They look so mangy, so boney, and they grin, in a smug type of way. Seriously.
Yes, so upshot being, and confirming one of my views on life, that particularly when standing tall you will take the odd tumble. Son observed on my return, quite rightly, how irritating that good news (my not being shackled) immediately overshadowed by NOT so good news (ie my being shattered once more). Still, that’s life and if that is all that is blighting mine then I am a very lucky person indeed.