July 14, 2006
It was nice of the paramedics to make it sound like he was almost dead. OK, maybe they didn’t, but when they call from an ambulance and don’t say much, you tend to think the worst, hoping it will be better. Thankfully it was. I spent last night in A&E not watching BBC One, waiting. Here’s why and here’s l’il Miss Purrplechick’s version of events.
And now for an exclusive blog confession about old me.
I trashed a rental car at 90mph in the middle of nowhere, Spain, six years ago. The good thing about that was it wasn’t mine, I was fine, nobody else got hurt and a local policeman named Paco came along (fortunately after I’d finished my spliff) to help me get some water and keep me company while I waited for the recovery truck. We talked for hours in my broken Spanish and his non-existant English with the help of a bilingual dictionary and I’ll always remember him for that – a true saint. I told everyone that I was tired and that it was a silly mistake.
It took me 6 years to confess the absolute truth of the situation to Ade. I’d fled from horrid Benidorm where I was on a cheap week’s holiday with him and his friend Alex, to see an old friend of my own in Malaga, 350 miles south, while they stayed behind in some English bar (probably). Nigel was a made guy with a crap name and the morning after an evening of fab food in La Carihuela (famed for having the best fish and seafood in southern Spain), wine, absinthe and joints smoked in his swimming pool, I set off again. So, perhaps, I wasn’t really in the best shape to drive the 7 hours back.
At the time, I had just started taking anti-depressants to calm me down (the intense stress of my job had made me hyper), but since you can’t really drink while you’re on them, had laid off them, and since you’re not meant to lay off them, returned to my former hyperactive self. And so, of course, I drove like a crazed fool through the addictive switchbacks and bends as the road weaved around the coast. I always wanted to do it in a decent car, like my own.
And I was stupid, screaming along in the outside lane on the autovia doing 100mph in a car that probably should never hit 100mph. The cigarette lighter I so desperately needed had fallen on the floor, I reached down to get it and when I looked up, I was an inch away from the centre barrier. I turned, maybe a little too sharply, and the tinny little car pirouetted as though only on one wheel. It crashed into the barrier, the airbag deployed (horrible), I lost a contact lens and with me half-blind and completely stunned, the car miraculously steered itself onto the hard shoulder not getting hit by the huge truck that was in the inside lane at the time or any of the other cars around.
That accident changed me because it could have been a whole lot worse. If that truck had hit me, I would be probably be dead. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly grandma behind the wheel but I keep my distance, leave my temper at home (actually that temper of mine packed up and left for good soon afterwards), don’t take risks and, er, have big fuck-off brakes. It’s ironic that the safer cars are the faster cars because they can stop, corner and take off again really quickly.
Anyway, the moral of the story is: if you must, crash a car without getting too hurt. It’ll be good for you in the end.
And I’m very glad, Mr Swingnut, that you made it out of this one OK. 😉