Monday, 9 July 2018

Mexican Weather

We are being blessed with Mexican weather in the UK at the moment. Let me define Mexican weather for you. Or at least, my definition of Mexican weather. It's nowt to do with where the mercury settles in a thermometer. It's nowt to do with the hours of sunshine we receive. Mexican weather is the scourge of the meteorological office and weather presenters across the nation. Because we have all stopped checking the apps and listening to forecasts. Mexican weather is predictable. You know just what we're going to get, and it's going to be the same as yesterday, the day before yesterday, the day before that etc.

Every day is the same. At worst, mid to high twenties. At best, low to mid thirties. Either way, it's glorious. I've forgotten what a jumper is. I have a tan. A real brown one, not the traditional English Lobster Red one that comes from the normal short lived burst of solar pleasure that we receive on these northern isles. People are happy, except for those who don't like the heat. I pay them no attention. In six months time, they'll be the same ones who don't like the cold. Some people were born to be miserable.

Alas, too much sun goes to peoples heads. Summer can quickly turn into Silly Season. Alcohol rarely helps the situation. And Mexican weather can quickly lead to another feature of society over the other side of the Atlantic - a sad and casual disregard for life. Ones own, and others around them. I see victims of Silly Seasonitis everyday on the railways. But at this time of year, more people are about, more beer has been drunk, and the chances of tragedy striking increases proportionately.

Just before half eight in the evening on Saturday, I was sat in my ticket office getting ready to shut up shop. There was plenty of noise coming from the platform - a couple of hundred people waiting for their train home after a day at the beach. Laughter, chatter and a bit of shrieking. When the noise turned very suddenly to screaming and urgent shouting, I thought I'd pop my head out of the door and check all was ok. It was the opposite of ok. It was not a pretty sight.

It transpired that a sixteen year old girl, under the influence, had decided to walk across the tracks rather than use the footbridge. I guess she was showing off to friends. She tripped and fell, landing on the third rail. The third rail is what provides the electricity needed to power a train. That's a lot of electricity. The girl was young. You're immortal when you're that age, aren't you? Right up till the moment when you're clearly not.

The result was what you'd expect from a prolonged electric shock of that sort. She wasn't breathing. She had no pulse. A first aider was present and got to work providing CPR. Paramedics were there within minutes and took over. I got on with helping to evacuate the station and close the doors. When I got back there was some good news - they had her heart beating and her lungs breathing again.

As I write this, she remains in a 'serious but stable' condition in hospital. But she will have some terrible injuries, both internal and external, to battle in the weeks, months and perhaps years ahead. Yes, she was stupid. No, I don't think she'll need to be told. But at least it looks like she'll get a second chance at the game of life.

The trains were running again an hour later. I got home and had a look at the salmon dinner left out for me. My nostrils were still full of burned flesh. I had crunchy nut cornflakes instead. Mexico prepared me well for scenes like these, but it's still not nice to see. It's pretty grisly. But I don't dwell on the worst bits life throws at us. However, I am beginning to think we've possibly had enough Mexican weather for now. A few days of rain to douse Silly Season might not be such a bad thing.

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