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Plenty on Wikipedia and on IMDd.  Those two websites are great for the date and place of birth, as well as listing the TV, films, stage and radio I've worked on.  What they don't do is describe what it was like working on those productions, alongside the wonderful and sometimes not-so-wonderful personalities involved. They also don't divulge the highs and lows of over 50 years of marriage, bringing up three kids as well as emerging grandchildren. If you're interested, Learning My Lines (my autobiography), Echoes (my first novel) are for sale through my website, as is an archive of my blogs from 2009-2013.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Fate

5.45 Saturday the 31st of August 2013. They order some more drinks. The chat is dominated by the game. ‘Stupid last minute goal.‘ They were gutted. Then someone says ‘Checked the train times. Sorry, it’s not 6.00 o’clock. It’s five to. Better drink up.’

At about the same time a taxi is arriving at Newcastle Station. A man, we don’t know, climbs out with his wheelie bag. He searches for his wallet. ‘Sorry, mate.‘ he says to the driver. who’s giving him a beady look.

Our pals are trotting down the hill to the station. The wallet is found and the driver is paid. The pals reach the platform with minutes to spare. ‘Coach H.‘ 

The man is is dragging his case along the platform. ‘Coach G, coach G.‘ he mutters. He finds it, the door is open and he climbs into the train pulling his bag behind him.

The pals are hurrying along the platform searching for their carriage.

One of the wheels of the man’s bag has become wedged under the carriage step.

‘Here’s coach G, next one along.’

The man pulls at the bag trying to dislodge it.

The pals can see coach H. One of them his lagging behind. ‘Are we nearly there?‘ he gasps.

The man has got one foot against the door frame, tugging at his bag still trying to release it.

The pals are at coach H. The straggler is bringing up the rear. ‘Hurry up!‘ they shout at him.

With a final mighty heave, the man pulls at the handle of the bag, this bag is a cheap copy of an up market brand certainly not made to a high standard, the material is of sub standard cloth and the stitching is hap hazard therefore the handle, not used to this rigorous treatment, gives up the ghost and separates itself from the bag, which tumbles back on to the platform.

The straggler, unaware of anything but the need to get to coach H, hits the wayward bag and falls on the platform like a ton of bricks.

‘Dad?’

I open my eyes. ‘Where are we?’

‘On the train.’

I’m aware of blood dripping down my face and my left shoulder is giving me terrible pain.

‘This Jordan, dad, the physio with the Arsenal under 18 team, they’ve been playing in Sunderland, he’s going to help you.’

Jordan cleaned me up and put a plaster on my forehead. Then made up a sling for my painful shoulder.

‘Now, Ray.‘ he said. ‘Keep you head still and follow my finger. No, don’t move your head, just use your eyes. Good. Good.‘ he looked at me intently. ‘What were you doing in Newcastle?’

‘Watching Fulham playing Newcastle.’

‘What was the score?’

‘We lost one nil.’
Newcastle 1-0 Fulham (not the lowest point of the day)

‘Who did you play last week?’

‘Arsenal at home.’

‘Score?’

‘We lost three one.’

Jordan looked at my son. ‘He’s alright. Not concussed.’

I don’t remember the journey but when we arrive at King’s Cross there are two Special Constables waiting for me. ‘The train phoned ahead, there’s an ambulance waiting for you.’

My boys came with me to the local hospital. After an X-ray and a tetanus injection and good news that I didn’t need stitches or an operation on my shoulder, I went home. Ten weeks later I’m writing this.

The last three blogs about Brownlee Home for Demented Actors I was just marking time. Saving you the tedium of me going on and on about the shit I was going through, bloody exercises and not being able to sleep.

What a good boy I am!      

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Comments

simon drew(Wednesday, November 13 13 11:40 am GMT)
Ray, sorry to hear about your fall, hope your shoulder gets back to normal soon
Mark(Wednesday, November 13 13 05:58 pm GMT)
Oh my Ray. Really sorry to hear that. Get well soon
revia buy in australia(Saturday, November 16 13 01:10 am GMT)
It's amazing for me to have a web page, which is useful for my know-how.
thanks admin
Ann Wilson(Friday, November 22 13 08:25 am GMT)
Sorry to hear about your fall Ray, glad you're on the mend and persevered with the exercises, they really are the key to recovery.
Steve Kavanagh(Saturday, November 23 13 02:23 am GMT)
All the best Ray !!
Smudge(Sunday, December 15 13 10:54 am GMT)
Sorry to hear about your misfortune - glad it's getting better!

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