bedSeeing Stars

Monday, 27th December 2005

From my journal for Sunday 27th December 1964, when I was aged 13. At 10.10 p.m. I was coming home from a party at our neighbours', the Herdsons . . .
. . . to watch 'Fred Hoyle's Universe', introduced by the famous cosmologist. I slipped in the snow and twisted my foot.
I remember looking up at the stars, thinking 'Is that Orion? . . ' I crawled up the Evans' drive and got covered with snow.
Seeing me through her door Mrs Evans thought I was a drunk!
She put me down on the lounge sofa and went round next door to the Herdson's. My Dad rang up for an ambulance.
I was shivering, with shock, and thought I had a sprain. I watched part of 'Fred Hoyle's Universe'.
The ambulance came, I limped to it.
(was this in the days when ambulances had bells rather than sirens?)
My father came with me in the ambulance to Clayton Hospital.
I was taken to the casualty department.
I had an x-ray that revealed that I had broken my tibia and fibula and twisted them round.
I was taken to ward G, Pinderfields Hospital. I got there at 12.30.
I didn't get any sleep. At 9.45 a.m. I had an injection which made me drowsy. At 10.15 they gave me another; I went out for 3½ hours. When I came round I found myself in G ward.
They were having a party. A magician was there. I missed most of his act. A Father Christmas gave me a book: 'Biggles and the Black Mask'. My pot came nearly to the top of my leg.
On the 5th January, after having a new plaster on my leg, an x-ray revealed that my leg was healing up.
Mrs Pearson the physiotherapist came to the ward on Tuesday the 13th January. She said I could put some weight on my leg.
That afternoon I was in the hospital school (held in the ward) doing charcoal drawings of other patients.
I've never read so many novels and short stories. I bought American science fiction comics; 'Thriller' and 'Weird Tales' (?).
I was told to go to walking class where I got my boot. 12 inches long, 5 inches across and 5 inches high!
Next day I was steady and they rang my father up at the Newton Hill N.C.B. and told him to come ready to take me home.
I was given a walking stick and went home at 4.30 on Wednesday.
On Friday a parcel came for me. In it was a picture of the galaxy Messier 51 in Hunting Dogs.
On the back was this message. My mother had written to Fred Hoyle, care of the BBC.
I walked to school over Storrs Hill. Next Page

Richard Bell,