Wednesday, 19 June 2013

"accident" - noun - an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury





Some people are born geniuses (genii?), some are born wealthy, some are born with perfect looks. Freaks, all of them. Others are born with a genetic mutation which leads us to injure ourselves at the drop of a knife, I mean hat. I know I get this from my mother  - it's well documented that she put a javelin through her foot and knocked her teeth out playing hockey.

Status Quo, that classic British rock band, once released a song called Accident Prone - it was included on the album "If you can't stand the heat" in 1978 which was written at almost exactly the same time I was busy pouring boiling fat all over my arm when I was about 8. Then there was the time I ran at full pelt into the patio door. It was only 20 years later when I needed a sinus operation that the consultant mentioned that the bent bone and cartiledge in my nose was probably due to a hard bang to the nose earlier in life. Ski-ing has resulted in torn cruciate ligaments and broken fingers and when I was flying on a trapeze for the first time a few weeks ago (41 things to do before you're 41), I managed to trap my arm in the mechanism which, when you're landing from a great height, hurts. I've also burnt off my fringe when I hovered too close over a candle, got my head stuck between railings and given myself two black eyes trying to somersault my way off the swing in the back garden. You can't say I don't try. The only one I've walked away from unscathed was when the boy rolled the car and wrote it off in Scotland the weekend we got engaged. Happy Memories.

But even before all of this I had already fallen into a body of water twice - this made my parents extremely nervous when I was around the wet stuff and more recently just made them laugh uncontrollably. Baths were very shallow in our house or I was sat in the kitchen sink (to wash, not as a punishment for insolence) and my little sister was sent to guard me though I'm sure she probably had fantasies of holding my head underwater for a very long time after I'd pushed her down the stairs and broken her national health glasses. I wasn't even allowed to go and wash my face in the dew on May Day in case I drowned. So it was probably no surprise then that last week I broke the 35 year spell and fell into another body of water. Jetlag, not enough food, no sleep and a mystery virus (hypochondria!) made me black out at the hotel pool in New Zealand and fall headfirst into the water. I have no recollection of smashing my hip or breaking my toe (I like to think it was broken) until I was dragged out of the water by a very nice and handily-present South African guy. I have no idea what would have happened if he hadn't been there - it may very well have been my last accident but, no, I lived to spend an uncomfortable 24 hours on a flight home with a bruise the size of Shane Warne's head and an ego the size of a nanobe (which is very small indeed).

One body of water I've not fallen
into though surely it's only a matter of time
This accident, I'm pretty sure, was as a direct result of me being properly frazzled. Frazzled by name, frazzled by nature. I must at this point stress that I was not pissed.  In fact everyone else from work had gone out to a bar and I, completely uncharacteristically, had sloped back to the hotel for a swim. I have been so frazzled that a few weeks ago I was calling my daughter's name "Molly, Molly, where are you?" and a little voice answered back "Mummy, I'm here". I was holding her. 

Hopefully my toe will be healed enough for me to wear my impossibly high heels in two weeks time and my bruise sufficiently faded to expose my hip in public (I'm talking about at the pool and not because I am prone to walking around Waitrose with my hips on display - for god's sake, I'm 40 1/2).  My coccyx, however, is another matter. I am trying to numb the pain with a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon. Coccyx injuries can apparently, according to the NHS website, be caused by 
  • falling over while skiing or ice-skating
  • falling from high up, such as from a horse (or trapeze - it didn't say that)
  • accidentally landing on one of the bars at the side of a trampoline
All of which I have done. Bizarrely it can also be done by childbirth which I certainly haven't done lately though I have squeezed out two at the same time) and intend to never ever do again and, even stranger, anal sex.  It didn't mention anything about tipping headfirst into a pool.

Today, somehow, I managed to go for a run but I made sure I called my good friend and neighbour and told her, like Captain Oates, "I'm going out and may be some time".

He never made it back but I seem to keep going...........




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