I spoke to my dad this morning - he and my mum are on holiday with friends in France and apparently my mum has 'had A Fall' on the beach, (once you're over 40, you don't fall over, you 'have A Fall'). She's fine, thank goodness, just a 'bruised ego', according to Dad.
This put me in mind of the great Falls of my life. Falling Over/Having A Fall is a family trait. Dad fell over last year when my son took him off to show him his den in nearby fields. Dad fell into a river and Husband arrived home to find the contents of our first-aid kit strewn across the hall and Dad bleeding in the toilet. A swift trip to the Minor Injuries unit followed. We have a loyalty card there, so it wasn't all bad news - free sterilised swaps and an extra stamp towards a bottle of Dettol.
A few years ago, pre second marriage, I'd started a new job and was quietly on the hunt for a new man. I had a new cream trouser suit, (slimmer and younger then), a new briefcase and excellent high heels. At the end of my first day, I left the office and clocked a 10/10 parked in a spanking new BMW across the street.
I caught a glimpse of myself in the office window. I'm not a vain person usually, (am well aware of my physical faults), and can honestly swear that this is the first and only time I have ever thought to myself, 'I look really hot today. I bet that guy thinks that I look really hot Perhaps he'd like to ask me out.'
Sadly, God overheard and didn't agree.
I was so busy admiring my reflection that I didn't notice a large crack in the pavement. I tripped, flew and landed spread-eagled across the pavement. My briefcase opened and files scattered across the road. I lay still for a few moments, contemplating the pain in my knees and the existence of a higher being.
I'd love to write that the 10/10 jumped out of his car and ran to my aid. Unfortunately, this was not to be the beginning of a great romantic episode with a new father for my poor neglected four-year old. The bastard stayed in his car, staring firmly at the road ahead.
I scrabbled around for a bit, clutching the knees of my torn trouser suit and stuffing crumpled papers back into my briefcase and then stumbled, half crouching, around the corner to my car. My ego, though dented, lived to fight another day. The suit did not.
I won't go in to the details of later Falls. The torn ligament on the ski slopes, the humiliating ride in a wheelie office chair across the packed lunch canteen after I slipped on a pea and broke my ankle. I won't tell you about the fall up the cathedral steps after a christening, when I was wearing a mini skirt. Or the time I caught a heel in my wide legged trousers, stumbled and took out several dividing walls of office pods (although the domino effect as the dividers crashed down was quite impressive).
No, I think I'll leave it at that, as God knows he has won and, although I may continue to Fall, I have not worn a cream trouser suit since.
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