Tuesday, 14 August 2007

A Swift from my bedroom window, against a sunset backdrop of stormy weather.

Speeding tickets can save your life!

My trip up to Scotland was not quite the sucess that I would have liked mainly due to the weather and those two speeding tickets, what a spanner in the works they proved to be, I thought!
Two sixty quid fines and six points, 3 from each, and just to make it worse 28 days to pay and two different courts to send the fines etc to. I was also due to go to Iceland, no not for cheap frozen pizzas, the country further north of Scotland, and without my licence, it would be having the points added (by some sad jobsworth), I was going to find it difficult to get a hire car so I had no choice but to delay the trip.
I was pretty 'nobbed off' to say the least because too long a delay would make it not worth going to Iceland until spring next year. Stuck at home watching this summers liquid presence run down the windows for yet another day, when I could be up nearer the arctic circle with nigh on 24 hour daylight only served to pile on the annoyance.

I had had some pains in my chest for a couple of weeks, having lugged 25+ kilos of camera gear around the Hebrides, all over Handa island and then up the Cairngorms (several days on the trot) I thought I had been overdoing it a bit and took a few "Neurofens" and hoped it would go away. It was when I got very bad pins and needles in my feet and hands I thought I maybe should get the doctor! My doctors surgery was shut and I was redirected to the NHS direct call centre at Chelmsford....... miles away and a bit alarming, however they were brilliant! after the explaination of symptoms the conversation went like this....
"Ok Mr Blake can you get to the front door and check its not locked, I'm just puting you on hold while I get the coronary response unit" several short words beginning with F and S leapt about in my head,
"Are you still there Mr Blake" she enquired in voice that sounded as if she half expected me not to be, worrying!
"yes I managed to unlock the door" I said
"the ambulance will be there in a few moments"
In the meantime I managed to phone my daughter and give her a fright, I was trying to sound calm as if it was nothing to worry about!, and then the paramedics appeared through the door. I don't remember much else except a sign for Victoria Ward, I thought it was someone I knew at school, but in hindsight I may have mistaken this as Victoria Wood the comedienne.
I spent 4 days in Bedford hospital being treated for blood clots in my lung, not a dreaded heart attack thankfully.
Anyhow if I had'nt been caught on those speed cameras I may have been in some remote place in Iceland on my own when this happened, and may well have still been there!

I have had to take it easy for a few weeks but I'm on the mend now, a very big thankyou to the fantastic people at Bedford hospital.

Below are a few recent images, and you can find some more on my new aviation images blog. http://ngbjets.blogspot.com/