PC 162 What Moisturiser Do you Use?

The question “What moisturiser do you use?” was one I seriously was not expecting! And the truth is that I do not use any moisturiser on my face. In the last century I did and used so much E45 cream that I bought some shares in the company that made it; well, I certainly helped their turnover, as I slathered the cream on every morning, trying to reduce the flakiness of my dry facial skin. But since then three things have happened. One, I gave up smoking in1994; two, I gave up alcohol in 2002 and we all know how bad both alcohol and smoke are for one’s skin; and three, I started Hot Yoga. These have combined to ensure my skin has regenerated itself to something more youthful. I hadn’t really anticipated this but am delighted by the result. Of course, these days we men can pick from a vast range of grooming products!

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Men’s grooming – Tom Ford Serum (2) £255 (!!) or Baxter of California Skin Concentrate (7) £28 or Heath Eye Serum (10) £14

So who asked the question? PC Christina Lane of Sussex Roads Policing Unit. Why? Well, she was imputing my details into her iPad after arriving at the scene of my traffic accident on 3rd September when she suddenly looked up at me. Having read my date of birth on the DVLA website for Driving Licence registration, she obviously thought I must use some form of moisturiser!! “Hot Yoga” I replied ……. and explained that sweating every day keeps the pores of the skin supple and open and my lack of wrinkles is clear evidence of this.

I consider myself a reasonably good driver – just like anyone else, I guess? Back in 1970 I even took The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ Driving Test, an exacting 90 minute examination and had passed (See PC 111). On Tuesday 3rd September, having collected Celina’s mother and cousin from Gatwick airport, we were making our way back into Hove along Shirley Drive, a residential street of upmarket, detached houses. It is also a rat-run for commuters …… and it was the beginning of the rush hour. This is a photo of the last memory I have before impacting with a Volkswagen Up!!

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And this is what my brain was suddenly aware of ………

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The stupid young woman had come out of the road to my left, had, according to both Celina and cousin Tony, looked to her left but not to her right, and simply driven into the space about to be occupied by my Audi.

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It wasn’t until a little later I thought about this complete blank as to how it had happened. Did I brake? – there was no rubber on the dry road! Did I take any evasive action? – the wheels were still parallel with the road suggesting I didn’t! The frontal airbags didn’t deploy and a little question to Mr Google informs me that they would deploy when ‘striking a parked car of similar size at about 16 to 28 mph’. I had thought my speed was about 20 mph (in a 30 mph zone) ….. so that checks out. (See note 1)

Our innate ‘flight or fight’ response kicks in in moments of stress and trauma. Benedicte, a good friend training to be a Paramedic, tells me the brain triggers the release of hormones, mostly adrenaline, which cause physiological changes such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, rapid breathing and sharper senses. This hormone release can lead to memory loss because stress taxes the body resources; acute stress may disturb the process that collects and stores memories. So, a three second blank; complete blank!

There are moments in life when you wish, with all the breath in your body, that you could rewind time, turn the clock back. You may recall this was exactly how I felt in October 2015 when I looked at my thumb whose side I had neatly sliced off with a mandoline (PC 52). But the passage of time is always forward, so here was a ‘situation’ that needed dealing with, no time to reflect about rewinding the clock (!), not least for the poor woman in the front seat of her car covered in glass from her broken window and shaking in shock. My military training taught me to be calm in a crisis; add almost 20 years of practising yoga and I feel I project a calm and unflustered demeanour; inwardly it may be a different matter!! Celina helped Maddy, the VW driver, to get out of her car; we called the police (see note 2); Michelle, the driver of the Mini immediately behind me, kindly offered to be a witness; photographs were taken and I reversed the Audi and parked it off-road. With a foot on the door pillar of the VW, I managed to pull open the crumpled door, brushed the glass off the seat and moved the car to the verge.

PC Christina Lane and I flirted whilst she filled out the online forms; and why not? She was gorgeous, half my age and it was all innocent fun in the aftermath of what might have been a life-changing accident. Reduces the stress does flirting! And for the first time in my life I was breathalysed!!

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A souvenir!

The firm of solicitors that were instructed by my insurance company to get in touch did so …… and didn’t believe no one was hurt. “But surely ….? Symptoms appear after a day or so …..” and telephoned me four times to check!! We live in litigious times so being able to push back felt good. The claims process is so joined-up these days that online reporting, choice of repair garage, choice of hire car etc etc – no hassle at all. A month later the generality of the incident is now just that, an experience. Thankfully no one was physically hurt although I am hope Maddy, the VW driver, will remember for a long time the day she didn’t pay attention whilst driving.

Richard 3rd October 2019

Note 1: The Volkswagen Up! is a lightweight car compared with my Audi Q3, so probably absorbed some impact. Interestingly the repair garage said that if the air bags deployed, ‘most cars are written off, such is the complicated engineering around the dashboard’.

Note 2: In the UK apparently it isn’t necessary to call the police if no one is injured in an accident. A simple exchange of information is sufficient.


2 thoughts on “PC 162 What Moisturiser Do you Use?

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