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Dangerous Times

During my first day at Sleetburn infant school I mistook  the mid morning  break time  for home time and wandered home all by myself. Being distracted by the fact that I got free school milk I might not have looked left and right along Rock Terrace. Actually it’s right -left – right. Is it not?

Well that was a gentle start to dangerous times  but the danger did intensify a few years later; I almost lost my grip when positioned quite high up the face of the quarry in Ushaw Moor. Remind me of the locale; was it facing the colliery and some few hundred yards from it?  Don’t take a week over that question he said with a twinkle in his eye.

The River Wear episode makes me shiver a bit even after all the intervening years. In about 1956 I walked on it  when it was ice covered  without any  evidence that it was safe to do so. Gordon Bennett.

Then there was the time I needed smelling salts from the trainer during a Durham Technical College v Sacriston Juniors football game. It was one of those old fashioned balls that got heavier and heavier as the muddy match made its way to the final whistle. It was my best ever football performance and involved several headers out of the penalty area. Is the danger over? Will I develop brain damage as a result of excessive ball heading? Have I got brain damage? I will let you be the judge of that last question.

Then there was opening the innings during a time when helmets were not worn. I ducked under quite a few bouncers in my time which was always followed by a calm exterior and an expectancy that each bouncer would be followed by  a fast yorker.

Having enjoyed ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ at the cinema I failed to look right then left then right again before crossing the road. Very sad and very lucky. Children do not follow my example of careless stupidity.

I lost control of our Subaru on an icy winter’s day skid and although I regained it I found myself losing it again – before yet again regaining control. One tree missed by very little.


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