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Tree shakers (rather than bashers) are very common here for gathering olives and, to a lesser extent, the local bigarade oranges.

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16 hours ago, philmayfield said:

Apple pies it is then. 

Can you find some Blackberries to go with the apples?

They are a declared pest here and any that you find growing wild are very likely to have been sprayed with highly toxic systemic poisons.

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No pottering in the garden today. Fun curtailed, and it's just begun thundering and lightning, and the rain in coming down in stair rods.

Actually, I feel like stripping off, and standing in it !........ Maybe not. LOL

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Today is nice and warm and sunny, temperature about 30 deg. There was enough rain yesterday to give the ground a good soaking but nothing disastrous as there was a bit further west.

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I nearly killed a child today. I was driving along the road and could see a lady with some children walking towards me on the pavement. As I approached them a young boy dropped his ball and ran into the road to retrieve it. I managed to swerve and just missed him. Thankfully, I was only doing 30mph. Any faster a lot of peoples lives would have been changed in an instant.

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That's going to live with you a long time, Michael......what a good job you weren't going any faster!   Did you stop and suggest that a child carrying a ball in the street is NEVER a good idea or were you too much in shock?  

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Children walking on pavement, always slow down & expect them to run on to the road without warning

That's what us good drivers have been doing for years !

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I passed my test on that point i was told..in Gedling i noticed a woman with a pushchair..checked my rear view and slowed..sure enough she turned the pram towards the Zebra Crossing..back at the Test Centre he told me "that clinched it...anticipation".

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No, I wasn't in shock, MargieH. I'd forgotten about it two minutes later although it would have been a different matter if I'd hit him. Like catfan and Ian state you just have to be aware and expect things to happen although there's not much you can do about the idiots, young and old, who race around causing carnage on our roads.

 

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As most of you know my Dad was a driver with NCT and the best lesson he ever gave me to do with driving is: "Assume everybody else on or adjacent to the road is an idiot."

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Still Michael..it can shake you up..you were doing the correct speed. Think..when you have had Children you never lose that 'what if'...the times i check twice when reversing in our village shop...there is a kid darting behind me with an ice cream.

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A good friend of mine lost his only son a few years back to something similar.

 

He had just finished his first year at Nottingham High and was doing very well. On one Saturday he had just crossed the road near Lowdham roundabout to see someone outside the Magna Charta and dropped something in the road, without thinking he just turned round and bent down to pick it up. A car going slowly, it had just come round the turning struck his head, his life support was switched of 24 hours later.

 

It ripped the heart out of the lads family and we found out later deeply affected the driver even though he was totally exonerated by the police investigation.

 

Deepdene my Dad told me exactly the same thing

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I remember that incident NBL.  Absolutely devastating for the family of the boy.  

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Amazing how much heartache such incidents can cause.  I sympathise with anyone this happens to, assuming of course that they are not at fault.

 

Over 30 years ago I was driving down the village main street around 3:30 ish.  I was passing a primary school on my left, which had those pavement barriers.  On my right, was a bus, stopped at a bus stop, but with a car nosing out from behind..looking as if it might try to come around the bus. I was down to about 20 mph.. maybe less .. and I'd moved over to my left in case the car popped out from behind the bus. Next thing a lad shot out from between the bus and the car and straight in front of me.  I had nowhere to go because of the barriers and despite hitting the brakes he was too close and I hit the lad full on.  He shot up into the air and landed a few feet down the road.  He didn't bounce, or move.

 

I went into a sort of auto pilot.  Hand brake on, out of gear, engine off, look behind..  I got out and went over to the lad who was quite still, very pale and with eyes half open. I thought he was dead.

 

At this point various people appeared from the school.. the kids having gone home earlier.  They insisted I go into the school and they would see to things.  By now I think I was in shock and everything became a blur.  They gave me tea.  I wanted to go see the lad, but they kept telling me he was OK.  A little later a motorcycle 'Cop' appeared and told me he had moved my car.  I enquired after the lad, he told me he'd been taken away in an ambulance and was not badly injured.  He also told me that there was nothing wrong with the brakes on my car and he'd been quite surprised by how good they were.  I asked if he wanted to breathalyse me and he asked if I'd been drinking. I said no.  He said then no as well.  He asked for my Driving License which I didn't have on me, so he asked for me to present my Docs at the Police Station within 5 days.  Then he said he was pretty sure I was 'In the clear' .. to go home and try not to worry.  That was that. 

Home was only 5 minutes away but I was shaking by the time I got there.  I dug out my documents.. for something to do.. and found that my MOT ran out that day.  A close thing. I was supposed to start a 12 hour night shift at 7:00 pm but called in to explain I wasn't coming that night.

 

It is really difficult to explain how it felt.  I couldn't get information about the lad.  I kept going over and over in my mind whether I could have done anything differently.  Apart from slowing to a crawl, probably not.  The local 'Bobby' (we still had one in those days) popped around and told me the lad had a skull fracture and a broken leg.  I wanted to visit him but the Bobby advised against it saying that people can react unpredictably.  I did eventually see him a few days later. About 15.  He'd got off the bus and shot out.  Said he didn't see me.  I didn't press the point.  His parents thanked me for visiting to see how he was.  I deliberately didn't take anything with me, card, flowers or anything.  I didn't want to look guilty, even though I didn't think I was.

 

As far as I'm aware he made a full recovery, which is of course the only really important thing.

 

Some months later my car insurance renewal came through.  The premium had rocketed. I discovered that the lad's parents had tried to claim on my insurance.  More digging showed they'd dropped the claim, so my 'No Claims' etc., was re-instated.  Cheeky sods!  It was probably my well maintained car that saved their lad from worse injury.  And nobody was bothered about the new headlamp, wing and bonnet that my car needed.

The final insult was that I was billed for £12 ish for the ambulance.  I refused to pay on the grounds that I was not at fault.  They insisted it was 'The Law' and I could claim it back from my insurance.  I told them I couldn't because of my policy 'Excess'.  I told them to claim it elsewhere.  As I recall.. I never paid it.

 

As I said.  Amazing how much heartache.  I've no idea how much worse I'd have felt if it HAD been my fault... but I dearly hope I never find out.

 

Col

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Not giving you a like for the agony you went through Col but because you’re able to tell us about it.  It must have been a very traumatic time for you and I hope it never happens to me.  

My uncle was a milkman in the Meadows back in the 50s.  He was off his float doing door-step deliveries and while he was away from his vehicle a little kid crawled under it.  He had no idea. He got in, moved off along the road and ran over the child.  The kid died, my uncle immediately left his job and found other employment.  He was faultless but couldn’t possibly carry on with that job and of course the episode lived with him forever.  

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I have been in a fatal accident, the details are not something I want to go over again. Everyone was very kind and said it's wasn't your fault etc. But there is always that nagging doubt and    'If i..'    'what if..'    questions that have haunted me for over fifty years. I hope no one ever goes through anything similar because you never, ever forget.

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That's it Lizzie, awful things can happen which are not your fault.. yet you can carry them with you forever. In all honesty I don't feel any guilt at all about my 'incident' now, but I do still recall how I felt at the time.  It must have been close to unbearable for your Uncle.

All we can do is try to drive sensibly, especially in the school hols etc.

 

Another incident.  I was driving through Skelmersdale, having picked up Mrs Col from her work.  I was on a dual carriageway in a low cutting.  There were a bunch of kids in shadow under a bridge on the opposite carriageway, who suddenly shot out in front of some poor bloke.  All I saw was 'bits' and kids flying everywhere.  I pulled over and crossed the central barrier to see what was what.  Kids screaming everywhere.  Several had been hit. The 'bits' I'd seen were kids shoes.  The poor chap was a mess. I don't think it helped that I was clad in very small swimshorts.  It was a hot day and I hadn't planned oon getting out of the car, but it must have added to his confusion.  I gave him my details as a witness. The kids calmed down.. none seemed seriously hurt and I went on my way.

I heard no more.

 

Col

.

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11 minutes ago, Brew said:

I have been in a fatal accident, the details are not something I want to go over again. Everyone was very kind and said it's wasn't your fault etc. But there is always that nagging doubt and    'If i..'    'what if..'    questions that have haunted me for over fifty years. I hope no one ever goes through anything similar because you never, ever forget.

 

My sympathies Brew.

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Brew, I've given you an upvote because I appreciate your sharing how you've felt for all those years x

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The only time I hit a person with a car they were extremely lucky to survive. I was driving down the Epperstone bypass towards Lowdham in a Triumph Spitfire at 70 mph. It was a legal speed back in the 60’s. A girl on a bicycle travelling in the same direction, for no apparent reason, turned a full 90 degrees into my path. The low bonnet of the car scooped up both her and the bicycle and she flew through the air landing on the verge on the opposite side of the road. It was spectacular to watch. The accident was witnessed by a minibus load of policemen turning into the road a bit further down. They called for the ambulance and were able to exonerate me from any blame. I visited her at home a few days later and gave her a box of chocolates!

Another close shave was on the M69. I was travelling towards Leicester at 120mph. It was legal at the time. A wheel became detached from a truck far in the distance and proceeded to roll from side to side across the road towards me. At that speed I had to slow down by taking my foot off as I couldn’t stamp on the brakes. As I got nearer the wheel kept coming, side to side, and it was still not obvious from which side to approach it. Right until the very point of near impact I still had to judge which way it was going to turn. In the end it just rolled gently past me with a foot to spare. I’ve always travelled at a much safer speed ever since!

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Err... 70 mph introduced 1965.    M69 opened 1977...?   ;)

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