Behaving Strangely

2nd September 2019 |

I’m off to Ukraine for a flying visit at the end of September to celebrate the tenth anniversary of my worst motorcycle accident. I’m celebrating the fact that it had no visible lasting consequences.

In 2009 I was riding my 650 BMW to the Polish border, at a steady pace on a good road in fine weather. As always I was riding close to the crown of the road. Another rider was ahead of me on a smaller bike, riding almost in the gutter as they often do in eastern Europe. We were approaching a crossroads and that was the last that I remember before I woke up on the ground, surrounded by people.

I had a fractured arm and had apparently been out, concussed. I gave someone the phone number of Lida, whom I’d been visiting, and before too long she arrived on the scene.The bike was bent, but not irredeemably, and she arranged for it and my things to be taken somewhere. I was taken to hospital.

After six weeks my arm was good enough to ride, the bike was repaired, and I rode it back to Germany where it lived. Then I flew to London. While I was recovering in Lida’s house another friend, a doctor, visited me on his way to Bosnia and he suggested that if I’d been concussed It would be a good idea to get a CT Scan of my head, so when I got to London I ambled into the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and told them. The did the scan, and the next minute I was in bed under 24 hour observation. It turned out I’d had a subdural haematoma (HORRORS!) and they were waiting see whether to drill a hole in my skull.

Happily it wasn’t necessary. I was forbidden to fly for a few weeks, and my friends said that I was behaving rather strangely. And that was that. If I behave strangely today, I have no excuse.

What caused the accident? After some wild theorising, the explanation is pretty obvious. The other guy turned left at the crossroads without looking, and I didn’t anticipate that’s what he might do. So you could say it was his fault, but I know it was mine really. All’s well that ends well.