One day last week The Wife & I were invited to "take tea" with The Daughter, who lives in a rural suburb some 13 miles away. All went well until we approached the last village of size before the main road that has to be crossed or otherwise negotiated en route. Police were evident in quantity, the road was closed and a diversion was in place. I should explain that the road is a single carriageway and at the time we were travelling (about 1.30 pm) most traffic flows north - our direction. Thus we were in a line of cars and one large (but not articulated) lorry.
We all turned left to follow the diversion, onto a farm track thick with mud. The track was riddled with pot holes, some filled with water, and was single file. We bumped and rattled round this course trying not to skid on the mud and narrowly avoiding by deft maneouvering the small amount of oncoming traffic. "Our" lorry was doing well on the bends until it came face to face with another of similar size in the opposite direction. Eventually the diversion spat us out onto a crossroads in a part of the village I had not previously seen with no indicaton of direction. I headed for the church, the tower of which I could just see above rooftops in the middle distance, and eventually arrived at The Daughter's for tea.
The Daughter has two rescue cats. One is fit (should that be fat?) and healthy, the other is of great age, has multiple medical problems and is greatly emaciated. However, he is perfectly happy and eats like a horse. He is not in pain or distress but is slowly fading. When we arrived he was sitting by the front door in the sun.I'm sure he had no idea where he was or what day it was, but he was warm.
After arriving home we discovered that the police presence had been due to a fatal accident that morning. The victim was 30 years old. I'm sure that most of the drivers in the diverted traffic complained about the mud (now thick on my car, too) but that was nothing compared to the tragedy that had occured. Later still we heard that the other driver had been charged in connection with the death. The accident had happened at 8.20 am and we wait now to see if drink was a factor. How easily and quickly these things happen.