It is a beautiful evening as we drive back home after a nice few days, soaking up the sun and scenery in Cardigan. On the road we pass through hamlet after village, round hairy bends and cast from bright sunlight, into the shade and shadows of fleeting forests. Round another bend and we are doing twenty-five through a small hamlet. We see a man staggering along the very narrow grass verge about twenty meters ahead, coming towards us. Suddenly he seems to stumble and then nose-dived into the hedge at the side of the road. We pass him and stop, clicking the hazard warning lights and we both jump out of Dippy Crach’o’Magic Van. He is clearly elderly and having trouble getting up. Thankfully, it was fortunate he stumbled into the hedge as it broke his fall somewhat, avoiding anything more serious than a little shake up. We checked him over and he was fine but we were alerted to an incongruity in dress of the old chap. On one foot he wore a slip-on shoe and the other, a slipper. His baseball cap firmly gripped in a an old but once upon a time, strong and muscular hand, hovered over the slippered foot. “Out for a walk are you?” I said, as we checked he was okay and tried to lift him to his feet. He was an enormous fellow and probably weighed in around 140k, more than twice of little old me. We abandoned the idea as he carried on trying to put his hat on his slippered foot. He did not smell of alcohol and his confusion may have been Alzheimer’s. But nevertheless, we chatted about the weather and asked him where he was from. I suggested the hat should be on his head to stop sunburn, he laughed and put it on.
By this time a number of vehicles stopped to help and between us all, were able to establish, he was fairly local and lived up the road in the next village in the opposite direction. Two first-aiders came to help and a large people carrier stopped, the driver of which, fortunately recognising our friend, agreed to take him home. How fortunate that we still live in a world where folk will stop and help each other. How fortunate were we or any other driver that the old mans fall was into the hedge. For lack of this, we may be telling a very different tale. And the old man…. he went home non the worse for his outing.