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Happy New Year 2002

There are times when you wonder if there is such a thing as fate. And then there are times when it is proven beyond all reasonable doubt. What are the chances of meeting somebody on the road late at night, in Basildon (Essex, England) who is from Brazil and has forgotten which side of the road he should be driving on? Obviously a lot lower than I thought, because that is exactly what happened to my daughter Gemma and her boyfriend Barry.

11 o'clock at night, on a tight, blind, bend they suddenly found themselves staring at the headlights of an oncoming car. This happened so suddenly there was no time to brake, no time to swerve, but plenty of time for the brain to record stop-frame images to haunt the two youngsters for the rest of their lives!

Considering the speed of the impact (both cars probably travelling 25-30 miles per hour) and considering that Barry had forgotten to do up his seat belt, the two of them were very, very lucky to escape with the injuries they sustained. Gemma has a fractured rib and severe bruising of the abdomen (all caused by the seat belt), Barry has bruising to his legs, arms and chest and cuts to his legs, arm and face. Look at the pictures and see if you believe that wearing a seat belt is worth it! Bear in mind that the journey they were making was less than 2 miles.

Personally, I have no faith in God or any other religion, but I am very thankful to "something" that my daughter got out of this car alive and that Barry didn't suffer the kind of extensive lacerations you could expect from a flying visit through the windscreen of a car!

Quote for the day? When asked what went through his mind at the time of the impact Barry said "Just the windscreen!"