Not to diminish YOUR injury…

Hello Everyone – Did you have a good week? Earlier in the week I got asked to speak at a work thing ….quite a big work thing. SO, naturally, before I even began the Powerpoint or attempted to meet any key performance indicators, I had to decide what to wear. There was only one possible option – phone The Bolter. The Bolter is my big elegant mate, we worked together for many years, until she, well, ummm, bolted! She lives in a hot country with her lovely partner (Mr Bolter) and their incredible toddler twins (The Bons)

So.… I issued my requirements, ‘ I had to not look like a Geography Teacher (awkward, because that is exactly what I am), a guest at a wedding or a try hard! Within nano seconds she came back with, your nice black tunic dress, a statement necklace, and PROPER shoes. As a result I found myself in M&S handing over a month’s wages for some ‘shaping hose’. If I am to believe the packet I will wake up like Rhea Parlman and leave the house like Nicole Kidman! Here’s hoping….

…… anyway, the hot water bottle…..

The rest of the summer passed peacefully and I spent a great holiday with The Bolter and her family. My entry into the country this time was smoother than my last attempt. The previous November I had been coming through a European airport doing, what I thought was a credible impression of a Victoria’s Secret Angel – unfortunately the guards took exception to this and pointed their big guns at me. A quick swoop around the luggage carousel and it was all fine….

I has a super time and we did a lot of ‘sitting’ – one evening we were heading off to a fancy restaurant and Mr Bolter suggested (gently) that I might like the Bolter to do my hair (even, given that later the same evening he tried to bring home two stray dogs – it was good advice). She worked her magic with her ‘Big Hair’ and I began to look a bit less frantic – needless to say I was straight on the phone and there was one waiting in Belfast on my return.

I bounded back to school in August full of vim and vigour and within three days was in constant agony as my back injury did not take kindly to the constant ‘stand up, sit down, keep moving’ of the teaching day. Within a couple of weeks I was walking like Douglas Bader (more realistically Kenneth Moore in reach for the skies – which is my only point of reference). The only thing that brought me any ease was heat. Late one Sunday afternoon in September I was attempting to fill a hot water bottle. It was one of those fancy long thin yokes with a beautiful cashmere cover. I’m still not exactly sure what happened – an air bubble, a leak…. but suddenly instead of calmly filling the bottle my face and chest was covered in boiling water.

Holy Christ it was sore – I put my hands to my face and when I could bear to remove them most of my nose landed on the kitchen floor – it was a rather Voldermorty moment. My screams brought EC and MC running and soon I was being swathed in wet towels and a taxi had been called to take me to the hospital.

As always these difficult experiences are helped by the characters you meet along the way.

Our taxi driver had the best afternoon ever! In response to MC instruction of get us to the Royal as fast as you can – he responded with vigour. It was like being in Grand Theft Auto – I believe we took Carlisle Circus on two wheels. In addition, at random moments he would throw water from his bottle over me to wet the towel. With a dramatic tuck and roll at the hospital entrance we exited the taxi and headed for help. MC went to check me in. There seemed to be a tortuous round of questions, name, age, address etc and finally what happened. In response to ‘My silly cow of a Ma has covered herself in boiling water’ the receptionist asked in a quiet voice ‘Where is your mother now?’ She pointed at my sopping, sobbing figure and all hell broke loose.

We were guided through a series of doors and the room filled with people. Very quickly the soothing gel was applied and I was swathed in a mask.

The English Patient

It seemed that I was to work my way through the entire Fiennes canon in one afternoon. I was treated by a wonderful nurse (ex army) who reassured me that he had seen much worse in battle! and then entertained us with stories of his time as a cruise ship medic. The transformation from GI Joe to Jayne Macdonald did seem a little strange – but we went with it. Some time later he came back concerned that I would feel my wounds were being diminished by his tales of war – I didn’t.

Mercifully I was soon discharged with an impressive bag of unguents to rub on.

My recovery was slow but steady and there were highlights – for example the morning I found two impressive new burns where the boiling water had tracked down the underwire of my bra and burned under by boobs. The day the face recognition on my laptop, recognised me again was actually quite emotional.

With all this time to recuperate I began to think and ponder and as we know, ‘In spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love’. Although in this case it was Autumn and it was a 45 year old woman – but you know what I mean……

Jooin me next week to see how that adventure panned out.

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