…..or from the sky!  After a good service at Church, Mr. HCB and I went out looking for dereliction, as we used to do on a Sunday.  I had already got a photograph of the daffodils I had taken to Church, in case we didn’t find anything else, but as we came up towards Badbury Clump, we saw that a helicopter had landed in a nearby field.

Mr. HCB quickly parked and I got out to take some photographs being very careful where I stepped, as it was very wet, muddy and slippery and there had obviously been an accident of some kind in the woodland area.

The little family at the top right were in the field, and we heard the parents telling the pilot, who had just got out, that their little boy was mad about helicopters, so he called them over and then took a photograph on Mum’s camera - how kind is that?  Such a wonderful gesture, and that little boy and girl will remember that, I’m sure, for a long time to come.

We heard, from various conversations, and particularly with the young couple at the bottom right, that someone had slipped in the mud and fallen, injuring and possibly breaking his collar bone, so an ambulance had been called;  the Thames Valley Air Ambulance had arrived and then later a land ambulance arrived, which then took the injured man to the Great Western Hospital.

I spoke to the Doctor at the top left of the collage, and told him we had reason to be very thankful to the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, as many years ago, our younger son had been involved in a serious road accident and due to their swift response he had been airlifted to hospital, where he had received prompt and life-saving treatment and this had happened much faster than if he had been taken by land ambulance.  

The two children who had had their photograph taken were anxious to watch the helicopter take off and what impressed me was the way both the pilot and doctor spoke to them on their way back to the helicopter and told them that they would wave to them as they took off and asked if they would wave back.  You can see them in the middle of the collage and they did, indeed, wave madly - as many people did and I also chatted to them and their mother - what an exciting day for them all.

The young couple said that the pathways through the actual wooded area weren’t too bad, but away from the main tracks, they were treacherous and very muddy so they had given up - and he was now wondering how he would get all the mud off their mountain bikes.  However, they and all those around were glad to know that the person involved in the accident wasn’t too seriously injured.  

Whilst I was taking photographs, Mr. HCB was chatting to a lady whose husband had called her because he had been riding his bicycle nearby and because the cold air had affected him, he had had an asthma attack so she was waiting for him at Badbury Clump.  However, he must have been better and had obviously gone home, because she left soon after the land ambulance to go and see him.

So, a very different Blip to the one I had planned, but it’s not often one sees the Air Ambulance in operation, and of course, I had to take advantage of that and we had some good conversations with various people into the bargain.

When we were driving back home, Mr. HCB stopped the car because he had seen some buzzards circling above us and we then saw them landing in a nearby field - we counted eight in all - we also saw a couple of red kites and lots of smaller birds, so a good day for us with things that fly!

“Just because things hadn't gone 
     the way I had planned 
          didn't necessarily mean 
               they had gone wrong.”
Ann Patchett : What Now?

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