Misty afternoon in Godalming

candles lit in Godalming Parish Church

candles lit in Godalming Parish Church

amazing tea set

amazing tea set

It was not cold, though it felt cold and wet, water dripping from the trees from the mist in the air.

Train to Guildford, then train to Godalming.

I do not know why, but Godalming always feels colder than anywhere else. Maybe it is the presence of the river nearby.

I wandered into the Parish Church. Lit candles for Canon Andrew White (who is currently undergoing treatment in Holland), Paulo Coelho and my lovely Russian friend Lena. I also wrote out prayer cards.

There is something very satisfying about lighting candles. I had what seemed at the time to be a clever idea. Light a tissue and have smoke curling around the candles. Very aesthetic. I burnt my finger.

In a charity shop I found the most amazing tea set. I hope they sell as a complete set. They have a bad habit of selling off piecemeal.

Lunch at Café Mila. Very quiet.

I asked in Waterstone’s, did they know when Manuscript Found in Accra was due out. No, they did not. But to the credit of the girl who checked, she was aware or found it in Portuguese.

I asked about Amazon deleting books off a Kindle. She knew nothing about it.

I asked in Oxfam about a shortage of secondhand books. They said a shortage of all donations.

Walking through Godalming, the 71 bus passed through on time. Usually it is at least ten minutes late, but today I was going in the opposite direction. Luckily I did not have to wait for a bus to Guildford, indeed I had to run to catch it.

In Guildford, I popped into W H Smith. During Guildford Book Festival they are running Kobo workshops, but not today. Kobo section like walking into a mobile phone shop. Guy claimed Kobo would not delete. In reality he did not know. I asked that he asked the Kobo team. One good thing I learnt which is a plus for Kobo over Kindle, they do not use a propriety format for their e-books, they use an open source format, which make the books transferable between devices.

I then went along to St Mary’s Church for the book launch of Re-imagining Discipleship by Robert Cotton. An excellent, if somewhat brief talk by Robert Cotton from the pulpit used by Lewis Carroll.

As I came into Guildford, I saw Eden People were meeting at The Keystone. I would have liked to have popped along, but decided to go home, via Aldershot, to save a long walk.

At Aldershot, tragedy struck. Walking down the stairs in the underpass, a man seemed to keel over, maybe he tripped, he fell down the stairs, he smashed his head at the bottom, a pool of blood started to form.

I shot back up the stairs, called for an ambulance. The ambulance centre asked me to go back down and describe the scene to them. They asked were there station personal around, if yes, were they First Aid trained? If not, would I ask everyone to back away from the man, including the station staff. The station staff were not trained in First Aid, when asked to back away, they started arguing with me, a yob threatened me (this is after all Aldershot). Station staff threatened to evict me from the station.

Ambulance station managed to speak to station staff, said it was ok, they would talk to them and thanked me for keeping them updated.

I left, as I was leaving, I directed the ambulance crew, well actually para-medics, to where the man lay.

I was appalled by the behaviour of the station staff. What is also appalling is that no one on the station trained in First Aid.

There is a problem with the stairs at this underpass. Some months ago I fell, I injured arm, knee and leg. At the time I thought myself lucky as I fell going upstairs, not down.

I hope the man is ok, though he did not look too good. I think he smashed his skull open. But maybe it looked worse than it was. He fell on face and maybe his nose acted like a cushion and all he suffered was a bloody nose. But the way he fell (I was just behind him), he probably fell on his forehead, and he did not move, a pool of blood started to form around his head. I waited a second, saw he was not moving, shot back up the stairs and called an ambulance.

When I got home I found myself feeling very sick. Whether it was delayed shock from the incident or that I was not feeling well I did not know.

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2 Responses to “Misty afternoon in Godalming”

  1. Marie Marchant Says:

    If you are the Canon Robert who spoke on Radio Sussex, may I send you a personal email?

  2. keithpp Says:

    Not ever having heard said radio station, I cannot know to who you refer, though I hasten to add, it is not I.

    Canon Robert Cotton is rector of Holy Trinity in Guildford and author of Re-imagining Discipleship. I will not post his e-mail here, as it will get picked up by trolls and spam merchant, but you can find it on the Holy Trinity website.

    Note: I have just learnt Robert is going on a sabbatical from Boxing Day until Palm Sunday next year. As he is usually very busy this time and year, and even more so with last minute arrangements before he goes away, it is reasonable to assume he will be unreachable (he rarely replies to e-mails at the best of times).

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