My husband has gone on the “bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade” walk this afternoon, leaving me with a stern warning not to touch any sharp knives. I’ve always been sort of accident prone, the kind of person who can hit their head getting into bed, the one who walks into the door frame instead of through the doorway, but I’ve been going through a particularly bad patch this last fortnight. It has been too cold to continue with the cutting back in the garden this week, so I’ve had to be more creative about finding ways of damaging myself without the generous opportunites offered by gardening and garden tools. Taking the top six feet off a holly tree, for example, has a wonderous scope for injury, but equally just isn’t challenging enough for a pro like me. I have a nasty burn on the inside of my left wrist where I got in the way of the kettle last week, and I have a five-inch welt on my right arm from the ironing last night (the dog tackled the ironing board). These are in addition to my usual minor cooking-and-serving-the-dinner burns. The kitchen door-handle grabbed me this morning as I was carrying my breakfast dishes through, so we are now one bowl short and I have another bruise. Then my hand cream bit me, well, the flip-top lid did anyhow (so I squealed and jumped and the cream I’d just put on the back of my hand went all over my top). Mind you, none of this is quite living up to the standard I set for myself a fortnight ago when I chipped an upper front tooth on a lower one. Yep, all by myself, without any artificial aids.
On the last day of our adoption course last week I looked down at my arms. There, under my three-quarter length sleeves, I saw I had a bandage covering the inside of my left wrist (the burn), sundry bruises, cuts and scratches, and what looked like a very nasty rash over most of my right arm (fighting with the holly tree). Realising that this might all look rather suspicious I started to feel paranoid about the impression my wounds might give of my homelife and marriage. . .