Falling – definitely without style or grace

The battle with TMA 05 continues but will be completed this weekend.  I have decreed it and in all honesty its only a matter of the introduction, discussion and abstract to do now – piece of cake.  Life has an extraordinary habit of getting in the way and skewing my results however.

Monday brought its small triumphs – the heinous crime me and my musketeers had been accused of committing on Friday morning was blown out of the water by Friday afternoon – due to the fact that my OC-ness makes me file things in a multitude of Outlook folders – and on Friday afternoon I found the piece of evidence that was our vindication.

Unable to crow on Monday however because our accuser was out for the day – a small compensation was that I copied the world and his wife into the email containing our evidence and the big boss at least, knew we were innocent.

So on Tuesday morning I got up, trudged around the kitchen in peaceful solitude whilst the rest of the household slept, then, with my hands full of breakfast and packed lunch-making paraphernalia, tripped over College Boy’s very expensive football boots (electric blue – I almost covet them), did a far from elegant triple salko with twists and ended up in a heap on the floor – wailing.

Lovely Hub was at my side within moments – as was Uni Boy – who had been so absolutely terrified by my animalistic screechings that he actually got out of bed (before three pm) to see what was wrong. In unison they were pleading with me to wiggle my toes and fingers – what?  I’m lying here in a distressed heap, winded, shocked and more than a little embarrassed and you want me to wiggle things!

Of course, as the shock of it all ebbed away I realised why I needed to wiggle my appendages and did so with aplomb – phew – nothing broken.  I managed to get to my feet unaided – in an effort to regain some small shred of dignity – and surveyed the damage.

The container of milk was intact, as were the tomatoes and I didn’t even squash the bread rolls or break the plastic butter carton.  I bore the brunt of the fall; my right knee made contact with the coir doormat ‘Please wipe your paws’ indeed! Spectacular gravel rash  and the promise of mega bruises to come.  My elbow hit the ground second; more gravel rash and the imprint of the skirting board half-way up my arm – mo’ bruising.

My first instinct was to go back to bed and whimper pathetically.  No one likes falling over.  It’s that feeling of being out of control and watching everything dissolve into slow motion before your very eyes.  Uni Boy was very upset by it however and the old maternal instinct kicked in – ‘I’m fine – honestly – no bones broken – just a bit of blood and some bruises – I really am fine’  – she lied.

Lovely Hub – who after twenty-five years knows me best – looked at me with that sideways sceptical look and agreed that I needed to keep moving about – going to bed all day sounded good but I’d feel worse for it and would be even more whingy.

After cleaning my wounds with the antiseptic wipes bought for the  paintball weekend (and never used) – they stung and many rude words were said that shocked the baby Jesus (sorry Auntie P – I lied when I said that I didn’t swear – I did – a lot.),  I put my brave face on and after promising not to walk around the kitchen with both hands full, went back to making my packed lunch and breakfast. All three of us kicked College Boy’s football boots out of the kitchen trade route (please don’t tell him).

After showing my wounds off to my work chums, I was summoned into the office of he-who-thinks-he-should-be-obeyed-but-I-remember-when-he-was-just-one-of-my-support-workers-and-I-had-to-tell-him-everything.  He apologised for the fact that his office smelled of damp (I’d put it down to him and a poorly dried shirt actually).  I flashed my wounds in an effort to engender sympathy and lessen the impact of the inevitable telling-off that was to come.

“You know why you’re here.”

Ha!  You won’t catch me with that one.  I have already mentally run through my past week of sins, lack of respect for senior staff and inappropriate comments, and you will have to use the thumb screws – or even the Iron Maiden – to get me to admit to anything.

“The email you sent out on Friday?” he reminds me after catching sight of my deliberately blank expression.

“Oh. Yes?” I smile sweetly but innocence is not a natural expression for this face.

Turns out  – of course – that he knew all along that we had not transgressed – he was just making sure.  Yeah right.  It really felt like that on Friday morning when we were being threatened with an Ombudsman’s inquiry and made to feel incompetent in front of the rest of the office.

I listened and promised to go back and appease my chums – he promised to send us an apologetic email (oh wow).  I fled to my meeting; the main reason for dragging my pain-wracked body into work.  No, honestly it really did hurt.

Whilst limping down the corridor I almost bumped into one of our occupational therapists.  I didn’t fall this time but after he’d finished sniggering at my gravel rash (are you sure they aren’t carpet burns?) he gave me the obligatory OT falls prevention lecture –  “Always leave one hand free to break your fall’ – in my case I would probably have broken my wrist instead. It’s quite a boon being ambidextrous but I really don’t write as well with my left hand and there are other things which I won’t go into, which might have proved awkward if done with the left hand.

College Boy was up when I got home from work that evening.  He didn’t leave his football boos in the middle of the kitchen floor  of course – someone ELSE must have – and anyway – shouldn’t I have been looking where I was going in the first place? Sigh – I knew this was going to be ALL my fault in the end.

Still – I got takeaway, the night off from studying, a visit from my lovely friend L and a pack of melolin dressings to protect my poor knee and elbow.

The theme of violence has continued on this week.  Hub and I had to call the rozzers on 999 on Wednesday.  Two thugs and a dog were giving it large to another unfortunate youth as we drove home from work – there was blood and the odds didn’t look good.  I did the phoning and Hub did the numerical remembering (car reg of the female who picked up the wounded warrior).

I managed to give a reasonable description of the thugs (aided by the fact that we turned the car round and followed them once we knew the victim had escaped) – all that stuff we’ve done on eye-witness testimony in Cog Psych came in quite handy.  They ‘made’ us though and on the advice of the rozzer on the phone, we did a Gene Hunt-style U-turn and got the flock out of there.

Today has been ‘A’ and ‘AS’ level results day.  College Boy and I managed a full and frank discussion for all of five minutes before it deteriorated into the blame game he had prepared if he didn’t do well:

– the dreaded quinsy – five bouts of tonsilitis in a year – one requiring IV antibiotics and the rest being ‘cured’ by gargling with vodka – don’t ask.

– the hatred of Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber  – his psychology and sociology ‘teachers’

– the hardness of chemistry and physics  – ‘ no one told me it would be this difficult’ – yeah – Uni Boy did but you wouldn’t listen to him

I added a couple of my own:

– arrogance is not a replacement for knowledge – bit of the old ‘overconfidence’ effect creeping in there

– laziness and sitting in front of your computer killing people (virtually) doesn’t help you to revise – no – really – it doesn’t.

– but he has also lost his granddad, and had two parents who have been distracted by their own grief and the  business of  sorting out the estate

We took him to get his results this morning – he was jittery and we weren’t allowed to say anything that might upset him because he was STRESSED!  I got yelled at for the controversial ‘Would you like a lift down to College this morning?”

“Of course I want a lift!  You don’t expect me to WALK there do you?  It’s RESULTS DAY!”

We waited in the car  and my heart went out to the pretty red-headed girl who had her results and wished she hadn’t.  She was sitting on the wall and sobbing and I so wanted to go and give her a Mumhug but Lovely Hub persuaded me not to in case College Boy saw and it made him embarrassed as well as stressed..

College Boy came back – no smiles – and a muttered “Didn’t do too well” as he handed the results slip to his dad through the open car window.

In the words of Maureen Lipman’s Beattie “Well at least you’ve got a ‘ology.” Sociology – taught by Tweedledumber – his most hated teacher.  The other results were U – U for unlovely, unwanted, unwelcome  and ungraded.  Looking more closely at the results, he was close.  If he’d only bothered to revise a little, he would have passed.

If College will have him, he’s decided to repeat the first year but probably drop physics.  He knows we will support him – always – unless he gives up and goes on the dole in which case there may be some metaphorical arse-kicking from Mum and Dad.

He went out on the razz with his college mates this afternoon – told us it was an all-nighter and he’d see us in the morning.  We said okay – he’s not good at hiding disappointment – no point in being confrontational and rubbing salt into his wounds.

Lovely Hub went off to work on a night shift and I stayed home – both of us worried about our roaring boy being out all night.

He texted me at twenty-two thirty ‘home in an hour’.  I texted him back, turned on the outside lights, unlocked the back door and waited.  He was home in an hour; floridly sunburnt, loud from imbibing cider and defiantly waiting for a lecture that I didn’t give.  He tried to get a rise out of Uni Boy – but I’d already primed him about the results and not rubbing it in.

My baby boy is in bed now – all six-foot of him.   I can ease his sunburn and offer him water to rehydrate but I can’t change his exam results.  I wish I could take the pain of disappointment away but I can’t and I shouldn’t.  He will learn – sooner or later, but I love him and his pain  hurts me worse than the gravel rash and bruises could ever do.

Here’s hoping we have better news this time next year.















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