I have a plan which is not so cunning but sound, nevertheless. Mr and Mrs Mason senior have been living on ready meals for a while as neither of them feels up to cooking. I have worried about this and tried to suggest many alternatives but none has been taken up. As we are in December, I worry about a decent meal for Christmas and then come up with a semi-cunning plan. We will cook a full-blown Christmas lunch here, package it up into foil trays and it will be transported into the Seniors’ freezer. We work out when this can be done and set off on our way to buy the necessary ingredients. We are at the traffic lights on a spur road which leads onto the A4 and, as they turn green, we start to move off. A lorry in the lane next to us suddenly brakes and there is a huge bang and we see a motorcyclist fairly flying through the air. There is a split second of apparent complete silence and then I am scrambling out of the car and running across the road to the man. There are a couple of other people there as well and the man is conscious and yelling and trying to get up. With another man, I am telling him to lie still, not to move and he shouts “I’m dyslexic!” as though this is the most important thing to get across. Understandably he is quite confused but in a lot of pain and wants to stand up and see what damage his bike has sustained.
Someone rings 999 and I crouch next to him, talking to him, trying to take his mind off the pain and to get him to breathe. He’s really too distressed to pay much attention although we do manage to keep him lying down. He wants someone to call his brother and, more poignantly, his mum but we all want to wait for the emergency services who arrive surprisingly quickly. As soon as the first paramedic arrives, I am asked to hold his head still which I do and he complies once someone in authority tells him what to do. He keeps asking why the man drove over the red light and I tell him I don’t know but that we all saw what happened and can tell the police. He is terrified someone will think it is his fault. He tells me his name is Jamil and I keep telling him how well he’s doing and that he will soon get some pain relief. An ambulance then arrives and there are sirens going off everywhere as police turn up. I can hear someone telling all pedestrians to get on the side of the road but I am still holding his head so I stay where I am. Another paramedic comes to take his head and I tell him the man’s name and then step back. The driver of the car is standing in the central reservation looking dazed and shocked. I ask him if he is OK. He can’t answer. He is just in a jumper and I ask if he has a coat in the car as it is really cold and windy but he doesn’t. I want him to get someone to come to be with him but he tells me he has a new mobile with no numbers in and can’t call anyone. I try everything I can think of but we can’t find a number he can call. I ask if he knows what has happened and he tells me he was in the outside lane and just jumped the lights without thinking. He is worried about the man on the ground. A policeman comes over and asks him to get back in his car which is a few feet on from the accident but no-one seems to mind about me. I wait for the lights to change and then cross onto the pavement to join the other witnesses and Mr Mason who has drawn up in the car and is waiting for me. A woman who was in front of us says “You were brave, staying in all the traffic” and I suddenly realise there were cars going all around us until the police came and blocked the traffic off.
From the pavement we count 10 police and 4 ambulance people have attended this incident. They have the bike up and out of the way in no time and after checking Jamil over thoroughly, including cutting his leathers off, they load him into the back of an ambulance. We give our details and short statements to the police but I doubt they will be needed as the driver has admitted liability. It has taken us an hour longer than usual to get to the supermarket but once we are there, we go round in a whirlwind, collecting all the things we need. As I write, it is cooking in the oven, courtesy of Mr Mason although I peeled the vegetables for him.
The evening of the accident, I head off to Waterman’s to see Frankenstein with 3 friends. It is a filmed showing of the NT production with Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch who swapped roles every other night. In the version we see, Jonny Lee Miller plays Frankenstein while Benedict Cumberbatch is the Monster (or Adam). It is stunningly brilliant and although BC spends quite a few minutes at the beginning writhing on the floor, we somehow don’t laugh and understand it’s his process of learning to use his ‘new’ body. I supply a little chocolate to my chums and we settle in for a fantastic ride. I am very much in favour of filmed plays being shown. I’ve been to the National Theatre many times but it would be great to see more productions and gain a wider audience. The filming wasn’t intrusive in any way and, in fact, enabled us to see some scenes from above which clearly wouldn’t be possible in the theatre. As it ends, Ms Marsden heads off to Kensal Rise and the Carter-Foots and I have a couple of glasses of red wine. They then walk me to the bus stop and wait for me to get on the bus which is very sweet. But where is Mr Mason? I hear you cry! He has to go to a dull business dinner and is home before me.
It has been quite a big day. I wonder how Jamil is faring and hope his injuries are not too bad. I also spare a thought for the man who knocked him flying. It has been quite a big day for him, too.