This morning we had to visit Hawes again. The day was just as beautiful, the hills standing out against a blue sky, puffy clouds and a light breeze - a perfect day to view our beautiful Dales. There was not a lot of traffic about apart from caravans going home to be put to bed for the Winter and motor cyclists on their last few rides out in the Dales before putting their bikes to bed for the Winter too.
Wensleydale is indeed a beautiful Dale but sadly every year there are deaths of motor cyclists on our narrow roads. In fact there are various accident black spots where flowers and little memorials mark the spot where someone has died. This morning we passed one such spot where a lady was replenishing the flowers -a stark reminder of such deaths.
Time and chance play a large part in these deaths, as they do in so many incidents in our lives. A chance meeting on a train, in a bus, in a cafe, in the park, at the bus stop - which changes our lives for ever, which makes lasting friendships, which puts us in touch with one another. Or the one day in the week when we buy a Daily Paper and notice an advert which catches our eye and results in us buying something which changes our lives (this happened with the purchase of Tess, my Border Terrier).
Well, on our return journey this morning an incident entirely due to chance and time, almost resulted in what could have been a fatal accident. It struck me that this is how almost all accidents must occur (here I am speaking of traffic accidents). We were driving through the village of Aysgarth, which has a 30 mile an hour speed limit, going Eastwards. At the same time a motor cyclist with a pillion passenger was travelling towards us - and I would be sure we were both well within the speed limit. Suddenly with no warning, an elderly gentleman in a car shot out of his drive, presumably having not seen the motor cyclist (he was on that side of the road). At the last minute he saw the motor cyclist and slammed on his brakes. The motor cyclist was too near to avoid hitting him so swerved round the bonnet of the car as fast as he could and back into his side of the road again. Luckily we were maybe fifty yards too far back to hit him and were able to brake. But it did strike me that another fifty yards forward, or another minute earlier and the motor cyclist and/or his pillion passenger would have been in real trouble. Chance - time - call in what you will - often there is but a split second between a good outcome and a terrible one. Makes you think, doesn't it?