I wouldn’t usually spend much time thinking about the word ‘hurt’.
But I did recently give it some consideration after receiving an email warning: ‘There is a very good chance you will get hurt.’
Actually the word and its definition became a matter for urgent consideration. And I considered that it embraced anything from a scratch to a maiming.
I didn’t know whether the email sender, a Wall of Death rider, had been brandishing a weapon as he typed. By way of clarification he added only: ‘You do this at your own risk.’
The thing I had a very good chance of getting hurt doing was learning to ride the Wall of Death that weekend. I had no idea how hurt.
At no point did I decide to go through with it. In typical fashion, I left it too late to back out, trusting that, by some chance, it might just not happen. Perhaps the Messhams Wall of Death team would change their minds about teaching me.
Delayed email replies became cause for hope.
But the replies came and the freak storms did not and the sun did rise on Saturday morning.
I was completely sure I was going to break my neck.
Brothers Jake and Nathan, the fourth generation of Wall of Death riders in the Messham family, were setting up when I arrived, at Carters Steam Fair in Woking, Surrey.