Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Dicing with death…

Death it’s a heavy subject and not one to be picked up lightly. Understandably, as you get older you seem to think a little about it more as you begin to feel your mortality. Well, it creeps up on you and as Woody Allen quipped; “I’m not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” There’s not much chance of that though.

They say that when your numbers up, it’s up, if that bullet has your name on it then you’re a goner, that death catches up with us all eventually, and that whole your life flashes before you eyes just before you die. Well, I’d rather watch a good movie, but yes, there’s no avoiding it I’m afraid. The Grim Reaper is just around the corner and we never know when we are going to turn it and bump into him.

Yes, when your numbers up, it’s up, but there’s no knowing when that will be. I read that in the 9/11 attacks, whilst so many died, a few cheated death or at least postponed it for another day. One person was late because it was his turn to buy donuts, another missed the bus because it left just a minute early, still another had to stop off to buy plasters for her blisters; she had put on new shoes that day. They would all have died if they’d followed their usual routine, but for one reason or another they didn’t. This time that bullet didn’t have their name on it.

I wonder how many times I have narrowly avoided death? I’ve often missed motorway accidents by passing the scene just before or after they’ve happened. Sometimes things hadn’t gone to plan and I’ve been running late, other times I’ve set out a little early. But what if I’d set out when I’d planned to? Would I have been involved, a goner even? Who knows?

There have been a couple of times in my life that I’ve narrowly missed the Dark Angel. Once in Whitby I was standing under a cliff and an RAF jet flew overhead causing a cliff fall. The ground shook as tons of rock slid away and fell only a few feet from where I was standing, a couple of small rocks even landed at my feet. Six feet closer to the cliff and I would have been buried under the rubble. Another time a car hit my wife and me head on, writing of our trusty XR3i in the process. All the windows smashed inwards, we span around and around, but we came out of it with only whiplash and bruises.

I think that both qualify as brushes with death. Just a little too close for comfort.

I sometimes wonder if I’ve been lucky and just missed bumping into the chap with that deadly virus at the airport, turned the corner only moments before the drunk with a knife in his pocket has been thrown out of the pub, gone in through the door an instant before that coping stone crashed to the pavement unnoticed.

It’s all chance. He’ll get me eventually though.

Cheery old soul, aren’t I?


  1. Clare Pritchard on FB
    I enjoyed that funnily enough God knows why we have near misses and survive, is it just luck?

  2. Andrew Height
    I believe that everything is chance Clare. There is no reason for anything, so yes it is luck. Keep being lucky

  3. Clare Pritchard on FB
    Bloody hope so, I remember yrs back when i knew Dave, i remember hearing that he had been in a bad car crash on the motorway , before seat belts, he exited the car via the rear window, and had a very lucky escape, everybody in the car got out alive, thank goodness x

  4. Andrew Height
    A piece of good luck then for you both.

  5. Clare Pritchard on FB
    Yes definitely x

  6. Martin A W Holmes omn FB
    The post-9/11 road death spike because of people being afraid to fly is just one interesting thing in this week's Digital Human...

    Risk, Series 6, Digital Human - BBC Radio 4
    Aleks Krotoski explores how our monkey brains...

  7. Paul Whitehouse on FB
    Do you ever wonder whether you've sat next to a psycho on public transport who has killed or is capable of killing? How near to being a victim have we all been perhaps? That one crosses my mind from time to time and is a bit scary.

  8. Clare Pritchard on FB
    Definitely i had a really weird experience yrs back in a pub i worked in, in Chorlton, i should have trusted my sixth sense...

  9. Andrew Height
    When I was at uni I was taught bookbinding by a guy who that summer killed his wife and chopped her up. He seemed like a nice guy.

  10. Clare Pritchard on FB
    Jeezus, that's a frightening one,

  11. Andrew Height
    Only in retrospect.

  12. Andrew Height
    Your experience Clare?

  13. Andrew Height
    Paul, I once traveled on a bus next to Alan Heath. Does that count?

  14. Paul Whitehouse on FB
    Yeah he was a schizo !

  15. Clare Pritchard on FB
    I'm a great believer in using your sixth sense, and you should never go against that feeling. One day, sat having a pint with this Glaswegian hard nut, alex lovely man, i said to him can we move from one part of the pub to another, a really quiet fella sat next to us, but i got a really bad vibe of him. We moved, and then when i went the loo, i should have said, alex, watch me, but i didn't. Quiet fella followed me into loos, i knew when the main door went it would be him, got off the loo, opened the door and this fella was about two inches from my face. I couldn't even scream Andrew, but managed to rush past him, was a really weird scenario, Alex the Glaswegian gave him a mouthful and he buggered off, later to find he was arrested for sex assault....

  16. Clare Pritchard on FB
    I truly believe if you are tuned in you can sense the bad uns...

  17. Clare Pritchard on FB
    who's alan heath?

  18. Andrew Height
    Just a bad man Paul and I used to work with. He liked punching women when they refused to kiss him.

  19. Clare Pritchard on FB

  20. Paul Whitehouse on FB
    Dammit Clare that is scary. Alan worked at YP with Andrew and I .....he used to do a moodie for about a week if his footie team lost, not speaking to anyone...wife, family, coworkers. He was a tool.

  21. Clare Pritchard on FB
    Pffft it's terrible that people can put their own shit onto other people in such a violent way...

  22. Sharon Taylor 0n FB
    To add, I had a dentist who had an organ (musical) which he played an English country garden on while the anaesthetic was taking affect. Later he killed his wife and her lover! And that is why I don't like dentists, I hate organ music.........

  23. Clare Pritchard on FB
    No bloody wonder Sharon!!!!

  24. Paul Whitehouse on FB
    This has been a terrific blog Andrew. A tough subject bravely tackled and very well observed.

  25. Carmel Payne on FB
    Enjoyed this Andy and I too wonder sometimes as Paul Whitehouse does if random people are capable of evil and if so what?

  26. Andrew Height
    Well guys, thanks for your words. I sometimes wonder why I do this. That's why.

  27. Sharon your dentist kept me awake all night ;-)