Nothing here for a couple of days as I have been a bit busy.
On Monday last I spent about five hours with a couple of senior police officers from the Historic Investigation Team working in Belfast. They had asked for a meet to discuss how we dealt with incidents where soldiers shot and killed civilians in Northern Ireland back in the early 1970s.
Funny thing was that I could recall details of almost every one they covered - and this without any advance warning of the ones they brought up. When I do look back, I can get almost total recall and it is this that made Monday such fun. The short term does not seem to be a problem; what happens is sporadic. I will start a sentence full of vim and vigour and then come to a word or name and - blank! Yet, there was not a single blank when reviewing something that took place near enough 39 years ago. We had plenty of jokes that only former police officers would see as funny. Or dare to make!
Another good bit about Monday was that it followed Sunday. Well yes - so what is new about that? Sunday was a day we could have brought our shuffle on the mortal coil to an end. I was with Norma driving to the Garden Centre near Edinburgh to get niceys fit for visiting policemen. On a main A class road near Lauder, at about 50 mph - dead straight, slightly downhill, no other traffic on the road and there was Farmer Giles in his Landrover in his farmyard on my right. He was travelling slowly towards the road. Not only towards but onto it; directly in front of me. I kissed his front nearside which deflected me to the left into the end of a drystone wall at the entrance to a farm house. From 50 down to zero in less than a car's length. Cue exploding air-bags. The charge smells awful and the bags get hot but they saved us from worse. I scraped a bit off my chin and we both had bruising later from the seat belts.
Farmer Giles appeared at my window and said it was all his fault as he had not seen us. Physically, there was absolutely nothing to stop him seeing us in broad daylight on an unobscured road. I concluded it was that he made the crossing from yard to house so many times a day that he stopped looking.
He took us to the farm house where plasters were applied and tea administered. Recovery arranged. Details ad-nausea exchanged before his wife drove us home. Really, could not have been nicer. He even sent me a copy of the e-mail to his insurers in which he admitted full and total responsibility. My car is a write-off but I have already identified a Picasso of identical specification and year of registration and have suggested this to his insurers as a simple way to close the whole problem down if they put me into the driving seat of that car cost free.
We shall see.
Tuesday was spent telephoning and emailing reports. I have just reported things to my insurers and not handled it as a claim. We picked up a hire car at Farmer Giles expense. I went and cannibalised my now dead car this morning and it was a bit of a shake to see the damage in the cold light of a couple of days later. There were ditches at the side of the road and we could very easily have rolled the car which would have resulted in a very much worse situation. Once again, I beat the Devil.