I could have been killed at the weekend. I was this close from sudden death (for those of you without video, the distance I am attempting to convey is about 8 feet). A couple of seconds earlier and I would have been brown bread.
Now, I am a fairly cautious person; not someone prone to irresponsible risk-taking or spontaneous acts of dare-doing, so how did I find myself in this position of unprecedented peril?
The answer: completely by chance.
A loose brick from a shop chimney, which had remained steadfastly in position for over a century chose my moment of passing below to detach itself and plummet to earth. Newton might have said something about gravity; Clausius would have probably cited entropy as a cause; my mate Tim, who knows a thing or two about building, would have been heard to mutter “you need your flashing replacing there”; however, the simple fact is that the synchronicity between the brick’s and my own trajectory was entirely random.
Despite my cautious nature; in spite of any planning or preparations I might have made, I could not have avoided my narrow scrape with inglorious mortality. It matters not a jot how much money I earn; not a fig how famous or insignificant I am; not a toss what kind of job I do or what skills I possess: the random falling brick is always going to get you in the end.
The fact is the brick missed me; landed with a splintering crash on the High Street pavement this much (8 feet) in front of me, only just missing another bloke by a matter of a couple of inches. Strictly speaking, this is his story, but he probably won’t be troubled to tell it.
Simon Turner-Tree contemplates his own mortality.