I've been wondering whether this is what a blog is for; but then, as it's my blog, I suppose it can be for anything I like. So here goes.
Driving back from Heathrow, nearly home after our cruise (of which more another time), I knocked over a cyclist. She appeared from nowhere, I wasn't driving fast, neither John nor I saw her (and I always give cyclists a very wide berth). The first we knew of it was a terrible crunch, and the sight of someone flying through the air. For the next ten sconds ( dashing out of the car, running back to where she was lying)I thought I had killed her. And in those few seconds, I knew - just knew - that if that were the case, I couldn't live with myself. Not ever again.
But she was alive. Lying in a crumpled heap in the wreck of her bicycle, she was conscious, not in pain, and so, so nice. I sat beside her, holding the bike frame away from her legs, and apologised and apologised, and she just kept on saying that these things happen, and tomorrow would be another day, and it was in the past now (whether she still feels like that now, I don't know. I wouldn't blame her if she was now feeling pretty angry). Mercifully, she was later discharged with a few cuts and burises, but before we parted, we hugged each other ("an interesing way to make new friends," observed the paramedic). The police were kindness itself, as were the paramedics. But it was one of the worst experiences of my life.
Then this morning, I received a letter from my death row inmate. Usually I can deal with these, but this was so heartbreaking as to be unbearable. He is lonely and hungry all the time; not allowed access to a library (he longs for books); and he wants to die. He ends his letter thus: "I think I'm going to die soon so I've been looking at the sky and the sun one last time. Life is beautful, my friend. I can't believe people take it for granted".
I read his letter, and wept.