3 July 2007


I got too excited, that’s what happened.

I got too excited about the two little dark-green leaves that were growing on each of the two sunflowers that I planted two weeks ago.

I didn’t run or anything, but the wood of the decking was so slippery, there was no chance to keep my balance, and BLAM! flat on my arse I was, my right clog three meters away and my right knee in agony.

I screamed so loudly that my cry echoed in the quiet, sleepy town (it was 10 o’clock on Sunday morning).

I then shouted Monsieur l’Anglais’s name so loudly it sounded like I was about to die.

No answer. He was in the living room, the radio on, oblivious to any other noise and to what was going on outside.

Later, he told me that he had heard the racket I had made but thought it was the kids next door playing. As they do most Sundays. Couldn’t blame him.

It took another two long, loud shouts – along with seeing me outside the kitchen window clutching my knee – for him to come and see what had happened.

I couldn’t stop crying. It was painful, but mostly, I think, I had been sooooo scared when I had realised that the step I had taken that was going to get my balance back had been even worse than the previous one and when, in that split second where your mind disassociates itself from your body and you kind of see yourself from above, I had seen that I was unable to prevent a fall on my back, right on the edge of the step of the decking. My hands were also hurting quite a lot. I had used them to ‘soften’ the fall. The base of the thumb on my right hand was the most painful bit.

As we say in French, I think there had been ‘plus de peur que de mal’ – more fear than hurt. We put some ice on my knee, then I massaged it with body oil, as prescribed by my dad who’s a rhumatologist, and I tried not to use my legs too much. Fortunately, it rained more or less all day and I had intended to finish sorting out our wedding pictures, so it didn’t affect my plans. Our first anniversary is in less than three weeks (can you believe it?!) and we want to finish the album by then. It’s nearly done, we just need to add a few pictures of the day before, the day after and the French wedding.

Yesterday, my knee was better already, so I walked into town to run some errands. But I had to walk very slowly. It was nice actually. I realised what ‘slowly’ really meant. I took my time, told myself there was nothing I could do, so I had to be patient, and I made the most of it: I looked at the trees, stopped to find the bird that was singing so melodiously in one of the fir trees in the park (I’m hopeless at ornithology and my eyesight is not brilliant, so I don’t know what it was, but it was pretty!) and took in the busyness of the town, while I slowly wandered around its streets.

I might do that again today, especially since, for now, it doesn’t look like it’s going to rain so much...

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