When was the last time I was scared?

Truly scared? Scared for my life?

That would be when I rolled my car into a ditch on 31 January 2006. I have never had any points on my licence, no speeding fines; and I hate it when people drive too fast, refuse to wear their glasses or carry on with no regard for fellow road users. So how come I managed to roll my car into a ditch and land upside down?

A momentary lapse of concentration on a dark and frosty morning led to me sliding sideways on a patch of icy mud by the local farm, hitting the kerb and turning my Peugeot over. I wasn’t driving fast, but I had to admit to the policeman who breathalysed me (negative) that I was clearly driving too fast for the conditions. It happens. All I can say that I held on to the steering wheel as tight as I could, swore a lot (F***ing Hell was the phrase of the day) and waited for the car to finish performing its stunt.

I was lucky. I managed to climb out of the back window which had smashed, clamber out of the ditch and call for help. being highly claustrophobic I left the engine running, the lights and radio on as I could smell petrol and escaped from the scene as fast I could. I was truly impressed when the ambulance arrived after 12 minutes; the fire engine after 15 but not so impressed 30 minutes later when the police arrived to a standing ovation for their fellow emergency services colleagues.

The ambulance staff took my pulse rate and blood pressure and commented that they were perfectly normal and very impressed they were too after my surprise acrobatics. I wasn’t so impressed as I was reading about the Apollo astronauts at the time and told them that “Buzz” Aldrin had sat in Apollo 11 at launch with a pulse rate less than mine at rest!

Fortunately all was well. I had no concussion and was able to return to work the following week. The experience has however left me a nervous passenger and it is not one that I would care to repeat.

My son and his friends who were 10 at the time however were well impressed that I had managed to roll a car into a ditch, land upside down, write it off and survive the experience and when I collected Will from school at the end of the week I found myself surrounded by boys wanting to know the fine details in amongst gasps of disbelief and respect!

For a day at least, I was a hero!

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