Safe at Last!
It's well past the middle of January, so it's probably safe for me to go out. The gods of split eyebrows will have forgotten about me by now.
The problems started on the 30th December 2014. I took Bess, our collie, out for her afternoon walk about 4.30 as usual. It was pretty dark as well as cold; Aberdeen is further north than Moscow and even some parts of Alaska.
I didn't realise it was icy underfoot till I was in the middle of a bumpy rough track leading to the woods. I tried to step carefully but my feet slid from under me and I crashed down on my left side. My head cracked on the frozen ground. I felt the shock go right through me.
I lay there for a few seconds, feeling sick, still holding Bess's lead and calling for her to come back to me. I watched the blood dripping from my head. I slid rather than crawled onto the grass where I could stand up.
As usual, I didn't have a mobile phone with me; I hardly ever use it. Holding my eyebrow together with a folded tissue, I staggered back home. Martha cleaned the cut, examined it with a trained nurse's eye and said,
'That eyebrow needs stitching - and the other one's twitching.
You look like you've been in a fight.
Blood's still flowing free, so you'll have to agree
That's it for the rest of the night.'
(She always speaks in verse during the pantomime season.)
At Aberdeen Royal Infirmary they stitched me together and kept me in overnight in case the pain on my left side was an incipient heart problem. It wasn't; just bruising.
That was 2014. Fast forward to 30th December 2015: same dog; same day; same time; different walk. Passing the library I saw a football abandoned in the car park, just sitting there waiting to be kicked. I can never resist a football. I took a run and whacked it against the library wall. It bounced off at an angle and I chased after it to try again.
I didn't see the kerb that marks the parking spaces but I did notice that the ground came up very fast to meet my face. Not again! In seconds the other eyebrow was doing its best to incarnadine the car park - and making a pretty good job of it.
This time I was farther away from home so I had to call Martha and she brought the car to pick me up. Though I looked like one of Mike Tyson's sparring partners for a few days, this eyebrow didn't need any embroidery.
Needless to say, on 30th December 2016 I trod very carefully whenever I stepped outside the house.