Wednesday 31 May 2017

A Fall

Well, I learned a lesson yesterday - the lesson being this: if you're walking along a bridleway in deepest Kent (or indeed anywhere) and decide to consult your map, stop walking, unless you're absolutely sure what lies underfoot for the next few yards. I thought I knew there were no impediments on this soft, smooth, dry path, but I soon discovered otherwise. A sturdy tree root tripped me over and threw me down, straight onto my face and, apparently, my right hand - a good thing that path was relatively soft.
 There was blood, but not much; my nose was bleeding, but not for long, my upper lip was clearly cut, and there was a bruise-coloured swelling on my right hand. I sprang to my feet, as one does - nothing to see here - dabbed at the blood, roughly assessed the damage, and strode on. Then I looked at that map again (this time breaking stride) - and realised I couldn't make head or tail of it.
 I recognised no names on it, or in my notes. It seemed to be the wrong map, with the wrong notes - was it the map from my last Kentish jaunt? Overlooking the evidence of the bloodstains on the map - my brain was really not working very well at all - I began to wonder if there'd been some kind of timeslip. Where was I? How was I going to carry on walking with the wrong map? This was all very strange. Happily I'd taken a few pictures earlier with my phone, so I had a look - yes, it was today's date - and noted the locations. Looking at that bloodstained map again, I finally spotted a name I recognised and everything fell into place. I walked on.
This morning, I find my swollen upper lip has given me something of a Simpsonian overbite, and the cut looks quite impressive, the damage extending into the philtrum (a word everyone should use once in their lifetime). At least it's given me a rare opportunity to polish up that old chestnut, 'You should see the other fellow.'


  1. Time to grow a Colonel Blimp moustache to cover the scar. Other than that, I hope your recovery is speedy.

  2. Glad to hear you survived the affray.

  3. I'm always surprised by the agility demonstrated by my aging body when I fall. There's the quick bounce back into an upright position accompanied by the sheepish Alfred E. Neuman "What, me worry?" grin, the effect spoiled only by an inevitable small trickle of blood somewhere and perhaps a torn pant leg at knee level. I'm also intrigued by the fact that I seldom retain any memory of the actual descent to ground. I'm walking, my toe catches a tree root or I roll my ankle, and suddenly my nose is in the dirt. The whole process seems very funny in a silent movie kind of way.

  4. It is indeed, Waldo, tho it wld be funnier if it were silent - the sound of a felled me hitting the ground was surprisingly loud. How can I be that heavy?
    I'm weighing my moustache options, and hoping I might end up with a fetching Stacy Keach-style scar...

  5. From time to time, I fall when running. Several years ago, dodging a bicyclist, I did a head-first slide into roadside dirt. Never having played baseball, I used my face as brake, something the pros avoid. I thought that I could get a moustache out of this while my lip healed. However, it was still a few days from respectability when my wife, who dislikes facial hair, made me shave.

  6. Argh! And not even a moustache to show for it...