Day 150

Californian Poppies

Today, I am going to rush through my 250 words and then get on with something else. I only realised this morning, with a shock, that it is the last day of May and I have submissions to make before midnight. Having been caught up at work this evening, then slept in front of the TV I find myself a little short on time.

This afternoon was interesting. We left work at 4.00 and locked the shop. My workmate exchanged a few words with an elderly gent and walked away. The man then came to me. I smiled in a warm and friendly manner, expecting some comment on our opening hours. Instead he said, “I need help, please can you help me?”

It was the start of a series of events that lasted for over an hour. That’s not long in terms of a lifetime, but it’s quit a long time to be involved in the problems of a complete stranger.


His problem was that he had been dropped off by a taxi driver. He didn’t know where he was or where he was going (apart from the fact it was a hospital). He had no money, no phone and no ID. All this came out in the course of our conversation. He wasn’t quite sure how old he was – late 80s – but the age and DOB he gave didn’t match up, and there was nobody at home we could ring because his partner was in hospital and was expecting him to visit. He was a touch confused, though he seemed o know his name and address, and had not shaved recently or had the benefit of clean clothes. This was not a man for whom things were going well, and in some respects, it was like looking in a mirror.

It was also a nudge into a memory that I don’t really like. About 40 years ago I saw a confused elderly man hit by a car as he tried to cross the M11 motorway near Cambridge. He went flying through the air, and when I attended the inquest the events of that afternoon had clearly placed a great strain on both the car driver and the wife of the deceased. I wasn’t going to let him wander off, but there wasn’t  a lot I could do to help him either.


In the end I had to ring the police and wait until an officer turned up to attend to him. She was very friendly and efficient, and asked all the right questions and took him home, where she was going to check with the neighbours and see what was happening. I will probably hear no more about the story, and will always wonder how things turned out but, in the manner of these things, I suspect it is the start of a change in his life that will not be to his advantage. I hope he has a family and that they gather round to help.

And on that sombre note I will leave you and go to finish my submissions for the month. I am going to make the most of my brain while it is still working. Not sure what photographs I am going to post with this, I will try for something cheerful.

Yellow Flag Iris

13 thoughts on “Day 150

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It’s a selfish thing – I find it easier to live with myself if I try to do my best. I think poppies are my second favourite flower after irises.

  1. Pingback: Day 151 | quercuscommunity

  2. Lavinia Ross

    You did the right thing, and it sounds like this poor gentleman will get whatever attention he needs, at least for now.

    I am sorry you have that memory of seeing another person hit. That must have been traumatic for you to witness.

    Your uncles sound like they are on the right track. Stay active and engaged in life.

    The photos are beautiful.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      My advice is to avoid old people – one of my aunts moved into sheltered accommodation in her mid 70s and took on a lot of the mannerisms of old people. Two of my uncles, who both live on their own, are still firing on all mental cylinders in their mid-90s.

  3. tootlepedal

    You did well and the pictures are very good too. I hope that I bump into someone as sympathetic as you when I start wandering about aimlessly.


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