Friday, 16 January 2009

This is it!!

The Sock has been avidly reading all the news coverage of the flight that ditched in the Hudson River yesterday in which miraculously everyone appears to have been saved. It was interesting to note that more than one survivor said that their last words or thoughts would have been "This is it!".

The Sock's nearest death experience engendered the same response. Holidaying in the Monchique mountains up behind the Algarve some years ago the Socks decided to drive down to the coast via one of the smaller country roads through a sparsely populated landscape. It had been raining but cleared giving a view of the very steep incline down the scrubby mountainside to the valley below. Despite driving slowly as the car turned a hair pin bend it suddenly skated sideways across the road and over the unbarriered edge. The rain had turned grease and oil on the road into a smooth slippery surface. The car hung balanced half on and half off the road and it struck the Sock it was like that scene at the end of the Italian job - only the car was sideways with the Bedsock in the driving seat side which was hanging over the edge. The car started to sway gently and the Sock remarked "This is it!" as the question of balance was decided by the Bedsocks heavier weight and the car started to slip slowly down the steep scree. The Sock uses the word "remarked" advisedly as there was no sense of fear, just that having seen the mountainside her expectation was that the car would soon start rolling over and over as they do in the films.

The car slid about 20ft and then miraculously came to a halt, not quite on its side but against a large bush. The Sock managed to push her door upwards and open and climbed out fearing that any movement might rock the car off the bush. The Bedsock followed squeezing across the passenger seat whilst the Sock waited ready to give him an extra pull out if the car started descending again. Both out safely it appeared that the car was fairly firmly wedged on the bush so we risked opening the back door and hooking out our bags before clambering up the scree slope to the road.

Given her normal state of absent-minded flakiness the Sock invariably goes into efficiency mode in a crisis and this happened here. A liberal dose of Bach flower Rescue Remedy to cope with any shock that neither of us seemed to be feeling and the Sock remembered that by a lucky coincidence she had written the shopping list in her bag on the back of the piece of paper giving the holiday agents address. A quick phone call and within the hour the agent had turned up with a replacement car for the Socks and a suitable gasp of astonishment that the Socks were unscathed. As it turned out when the car was recovered it too had survived with only a couple of scratches.

The Socks gives thanks that "This is it!" weren't her last words on that occasion and that those who may have felt or spoken it on the downed flight have also found that whatever they believed "It" to be they have survived to confront it another day.

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