Monday, 25 May 2009

Toby Young gets knocked off his bicycle

He appeared, after parking his car across the street, and asked me if I was okay: “Sorry, mate, I just didn’t see you.”

I asked him for his name and number. He said he didn’t have a pen, so I gave him my pen, then nothing to write on, so I gave him a business card. He wrote down a name and number, handed the card back and kept the pen. If I hadn’t been so dazed and confused I would have jotted down his number plate.

Several good Samaritans retrieved my stuff from the road -- my smashed iPhone, my broken glasses, my buckled bike. An ambulance arrived and I got in, followed quickly by the police who had just arrived. They asked if the driver who’d hit me had stopped and I said he had and gave them the card. They tried calling the number, but got no reply -- and the paramedic said he’d seen him scurrying off when the police arrived.

The paramedic then did some rudimentary tests to make sure I was still compos mentis while the police took a statement. When I told the WPC I worked for the Standard, among other papers, she said, “They’re always having a go at us.” To defuse the situation, I told her I used to be the restaurant critic, at which point she asked me if I could recommend any restaurants in Notting Hill.
Slightly odd, considering blood was still gushing from my forehead.