INCREDIBLY, this month marks half-a-century since the wailing tones of Bob Dylan told us that The Times They Are A-Changin’.
The lines ‘Gather round people wherever you roam/And admit that the waters around you have grown’ have been very appropriate recently.
But it was nothing to do with the recent floods, or even the radical changes in 1960s society that Dylan was singing about, that brought it to my mind the other day.
I was just about to leave Tesco in Rickmansworth, driving at an angle out of my space and about to straighten up, when a car in a parallel row reversed in my direction and smashed into me.
The other driver’s rear windscreen shattered into hundreds of pieces, completely disintegrating before my eyes. My car door was dented.
The woman who got out of the other car was clearly shocked, but apologised and accepted it was her fault. Her insurance company has since been in touch and everything is proceeding properly.
What really got to me though, was that no one in that busy car park – in spite of the bang of metal and the shattering of the windscreen and the obviously shocked woman – bothered to check that we were OK.
Were there passengers in her back seat, maybe a child? No one cared enough to ask, not even the staff member sent to clear up the glass while we were still exchanging details.
Not a word. Nothing.
It used to be automatic to do this. Have the times really changed so much?
n AFTER having coffee with my sister-in-law in Gerrards Cross last week, I popped into the local Waitrose before going home.
“Are you who I think you are?” asked a customer as I grabbed a basket. Not being in Hillingdon, I said it depended on who she thought I was.
“The Gazette,” she replied. The reader went on to say she’d read Bm@il recently and had felt very strongly about something in my column. She couldn’t recall what it was about, or whether she’d agreed or disagreed with me.
We both laughed, because she had my sympathy. Some weeks I can’t remember what I’ve written myself until I see it in the paper.